5 Social Media Myths You Need to Stop Believing
By: Elizabeth Casciaro
Social media is an ever-increasing presence in everyone’s lives. We seem to spend more time every year scrolling through different apps on our phones and connecting with others. This has both its benefits and drawbacks, and as a teenager the Internet can be especially difficult to navigate. From body image pressures to difficulties balancing screen time and responsibilities, sometimes logging onto social media to take a break and relax can actually lead to more stress. Here are five myths connected to it that once you realize aren’t true, can help you feel so much better:
1. Everyone else’s life is perfect
Scrolling through Instagram, every picture seems to be of gorgeous girls, happy couples, expensive vacations and massive friend groups. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you’re the only one falling behind. But it’s important to remember that people usually only put their best foot forward on their social media accounts. Think of what you post: probably only your best moments and not your struggles, right? Everyone else is doing the exact same thing. Not to mention, everyone moves through life and hits different milestones at their own pace, and just because your desires aren’t fulfilled right now doesn’t mean that you’ll never get to achieve them.
2. Everyone else has a “perfect” body and great skin
This seems to be one of the biggest social media myths that younger teens struggle with. Influencers and celebrities always seem to be thin yet curvy with constantly perfect hair, skin and makeup. I can’t remind you enough that most of the time this is achieved through filters and plastic surgery, and that very few women actually look like this! Something that helps me in this aspect is to unfollow any pages that make me feel negatively about myself and try to follow more women who look like me. Instagram pages such as @beauty.false also promote this message, so be sure to check them out! At Apricotton, we strive to make sure that young girls do not feel pressured by unrealistic standards and are confident in their natural bodies.
3. Constant self-deprecating humour is healthy
“Edgy” and depressing memes seem to be everywhere nowadays. While sometimes dark humour can help us cope with the difficulties in our lives, constantly returning to it as a coping mechanism can cause negative thought patterns over time that make us feel even worse about ourselves in the end. Try to avoid pages that glamorize depression or low self-esteem, as the messages we see on social media everyday tend to become unconscious beliefs that we hold over time. Instead, surround yourself with inspirational content!
4. You need to be plugged in 24/7
Social media addiction is very easy to fall into. It can be hard to put your phone down without feeling out of the loop and left behind. Ultimately though, constantly being online is more harmful than missing the new viral meme of the week, as it can shorten your attention span, strain your real-life relationships, and make you ignore your responsibilities like schoolwork. Taking a break and deleting apps off of your phone every few months is more refreshing than you think. It might seem intimidating or boring at first, but spending more time with family, making more friends or even holding a part time job can all help you to feel much more fulfilled in the time that you would usually devote to scrolling through your phone.
5. Likes and followers determine your worth
Sometimes a low number of likes on our most recent post or people unfollowing us can bring up feelings of disappointment and embarrassment, whereas a high amount of engagement can leave a person thrilled. However, it’s important to remember that the amount of likes you get does not actually determine your value or say anything about who you are as a person. Bottom line, all a like really means is that someone logged on at the right time and most likely reflexively reacted to the photo before scrolling onto the next. Next time you post, try to walk away from your phone for an hour or two and find another activity to get your mind off of it so you’re not checking to make sure that the number of likes is rising. You’ll be a lot more relaxed in the long run!
About the Author:
Elizabeth is a 4th year English student at Western University. She's excited to be working with Apricotton because she believes everyone deserves a comfortable bra shopping experience!