How often do you find yourself using filters or edited your pictures before posting them on social media? Social media apps are causing people to dislike themselves and become focused on how they look. Growing up with images of how we are “supposed” to look can cause kids and teens to have lower self confidence.
Social media is a negative source overall and changes to how things work should be made to ensure that these apps are not being used to bring people down. Bullying has always been a well-known negative of social media. People who can be shy in person could use their voice online to bully others if they are too scared to in person. You can even make anonymous accounts to help hide your identity when posting mean and inappropriate things. Apps like Instagram do not do a good job of monitoring for bullying. In 2017 there was a study held by the British anti-bullying organization Ditch The Label. They found that 42 percent of kids from 10-12 reported being bullied on Instagram. Instagram needs to act to help prevent even more bullying from happening on their site.
When someone is being bullied on social media the first thing they are told to do is report it, but does that really help? When you report someone, their account doesn’t automatically get deleted. The content or account stays on the site until they are reported by more people or it is checked to see if the account breaks any rules on the site. There is no saying how long exactly it will be until the persons account gets shut down which ultimately defeats the purpose of being able to report them. Even when the account gets shut down the user can make another account again and continue their bad behavior. This just creates an endless loop of creating new accounts and continuing the bullying. If the problem involves a student the students’ parents and principal will get involved and consequences will be given, no thanks to Instagram.
While it does feel nice to get comments from your friends and likes on your pictures, this might send a message to teens that likes mean everything. Implementing likes into social media allow the app to be so successful, but not for the people using it. There’s almost an unsaid competition about who can get the most likes or the most followers. If someone isn’t receiving the amount of likes they want that can cause them to be upset and feel worthless compared to others on the site. No app should be able to make people feel less important than others, even if some people are enjoying their number of likes. Whether you get 12 or 1200 likes it doesn’t feel good to get less than usual, which can cause some to wonder if people care about them as much as others.
I use all different types of social media, and despite the flaws I see in how they run things, I probably will always have accounts on these sites. Just remember to be smart and respectful when you go online. The stuff you put online is there forever, so be careful, and always be kind on social media.