By Sania Dastagir | 25th June, 2022
How does Social Media pull our strings to control us, rather than us controlling it? Social media is a villain indeed but, it is far more dangerous than we can imagine it to be for students!
Social Media: A Not-So-Secret Villain 😈
In this day and age, there is no one not familiar with social media and its uses. It has become the new normal for Gen-Zs and the upcoming generations. Consequently, many of us use our phones in every spare minute we get. Be it while eating, talking, or even sitting in the washroom (lol!) 😅.
💡 Fun Fact: The average screen time of a teenager on social media is up to 9 hours a day!! 🤳
However, how does it affect young adults, who are adapting to technology faster than anyone else? How is social media changing the perspectives of the younger generation who will soon become adults? 🤔
Social Media: A Productivity Killer 😬
Well, to start off, it is the number one distraction out there for teenagers. Major social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube have millions of pieces of content being posted each day.⭐ It is quite common for teens to find content easily that keeps them hooked considering the cut-throat competition in the digital space. Social media heavily distracts teenagers from their goals. For instance, many teenagers become glued to the lifestyle, products, or behaviors their favorite celebrity promotes on social media. Steadily, teenagers become more conscious of brands and images that they would’ve never cared for before 😬.
☝️ An example of the villain at work.
Not only do we as students get distracted by social media, we also start questioning ourselves and our bodies. Seeing famous celebrities and other teens flex their "so called" picture-perfect bodies and their "perfect" lifestyles, we start scrutinizing our own body image and lifestyle sometimes to the point where many of us get depressed. 👎 But, what we do not understand is how far these influencers go to achieve these perfect body lives. For instance, teens on social media starve for several hours a day, just so they can get that perfect picture and look as thin as possible. That is sadly the beauty standard in our society. Not only that, but several teens make a spectacle of their wealthy lifestyles on these platforms just for the likes❤️ and the views👀, only to be caught later on for their "fake" money 💰.
☝️ LIL' TAY : A public figure/rapper also known as "the youngest flexer of the century"
A specimen of this is the case of an influencer named Claire, known more famously as “Lil' (Little) Tay”, who flexed her wealth on social media by falsely displaying her "crazy" lifestyle which included a plethora of expensive cars and toys. Later on, it was revealed that it was all fake and that she was being abused by her own mother to do this 😐. So, to summarize it, the reality of these influencers is considerably different than what we teenagers, perceive it to be.
The Good Side of Social Media 🏅
However, social media is not completely toxic 😀. It instantly updates millions of users worldwide other than students. Breaking news, important issues that need instant addressal in the form of documentaries or perhaps clips are all conveyed on time, thanks to social media. Several organisations also help the youth by giving them access to well-crafted articles and podcasts, just like us 😉. According to us, YouTube is synonymous with "You Can Learn Anything" and, I'm sure anyone will agree with this analogy!
"Influencers" are usually considered to be interchangeable with "instant-gratification" and this comparison is not always true. Some content creators, always keep their nose to the grindstone and are always finding new ways of educating or entertaining us. A perfect example to advocate this is the case of the Paul brothers - Logan & Jake Paul.
Most people consider Logan & Jake to be instantly-successful influencers who caught the attention of people by doing something quirky. At least, that's what people want you to believe.
But, don't get me wrong here. The Paul brothers have done some not-so-good stuff throughout their journey and have been in the light for "controversies" a lot. But, apart from that their backstory is quite interesting. Surprisingly, Logan Paul's social media journey started back in 2013 with the platform "Vine" where he used to put comedy sketches and gathered quite a lot of attention! Later on, he transitioned to Vlogs and started YouTubing and, his younger brother Jake followed in his footsteps. Both brothers made diverse content throughout the years and, Jake even landed a role in a Disney Channel Series (after which he was later removed).
So, the takeaway from this story is that it took time for them to get where they are today. Whether you realise it or not, both brothers are working on some or the other project all the time! For instance, Logan started a hydration brand known as "Prime" with the British YouTuber - KSI earlier this year and now, his NFT project "99 Originals" is also underway. Jake was the promoter of the biggest women's boxing event of 2022 alongside Eddie Hearn and, he has several other business ventures like "Boxing Bullies" and other lucrative projects in the works.
👉 In all, the stereotype of considering influencers to have received "instand-gratification" is morally incorrect. Being a social media personality for some can be equally as hard as any other job!
So in conclusion, social media (just like anything else) is harmful in excess and beneficial in limits. Calling it a "secret villain" can be correct or perhaps incorrect at times.
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