How Social Media Develops Insecurities and Low Self-Esteem

The internet and social media really is the miracle man created. It provides endless services and the never-going-to-make-you-bored algorithms truly work effectively. The world is in our hands, all sorts of freedoms on our fingertips. But is the internet really free? Yes, it does continually expand our knowledge but makes our brain suffer when it comes to ourselves.

Just now, we could open any social media platform and watch the fantastic lives of everyone near us. We follow a dozen celebrities and constantly see their perfect looking pictures. When, in reality, neither the faces or bodies are even near to perfect. The photos are only a combined mess of filters, editing, photoshop etc.

Things start to get worse when we look up at these celebrities as inspirations. We think of them as someone with a perfect face or a perfect body and constantly bash ourselves for not being more like them. This repeated comparison with others develops a number of insecurities. In such cases, the self-esteem and self-confidence is bound to keep going lower.

According to a Huffington Post poll, 60 percent of the people using social media admitted that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way. They also found that 51 percent say social media has made them feel more insecure about their appearance.

The perfect lips, the perfect body shape, the perfect nose, the perfect eye size, social media has already declared them all. Not only does almost every big influencer promote these beauty standards, but we constantly fall prey to them.

These unachievable beauty standards make us feel self conscious. And to top all of it off, we further see a perfect picture of an apparent perfect looking person and think if they can why can’t I. All of this results in incredibly low self- esteem, many insecurities and even body dysmorphia, anxiety or depression.

When this continuous comparison and the will to become more attractive gets to us, we put on a mask like the ones we follow. We no longer post pictures for ourselves but only for others. We use filters and edit the picture ten times just so people would like it and probably leave a ‘looking great’ comment. It burns down to become only a game of virtual validation.

Caring more about looking happy on social media, than actually being happy in real life might just be the greatest mistake our generation continues to make.

Not only physical insecurities, but social media gifts us with pictures and videos of people travelling at our dream destination, living a luxurious life, eating caviar for dinner. We compare our lives with such people and blame ourselves even more. We are left hopeless by the thought that we could never have what they do.

A program at Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pennsylvania where teenagers participated to give feedback on consequences of social media showed that 67 percent of the participants reported feeling worse about their lives due to social media. Further, 73 percent felt pressured to post content that boosted their appearance to others, 60 percent felt pressured to tailor content for popularity and likes, and 80 percent reported being affected by social media drama.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
-Steve Furtick

We need to stop looking up to doctored idols and fake standards of beauty. We must remember none of what we see on social media is practical. Reality is far from what we see on our screens.

It is but a facade of happy faces and happy families. A delusion which grabs us by the neck, forcing to believe we aren’t good enough. When, truly, we need to change nothing except wiping our eyes to see the reality.

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Aarohi Lakhera

Aarohi Lakhera

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A fellow petty teen on the quest to find meaning of things and serving you a part of my life lessons.