• Inspiring young people to engage with media in
    thoughtful & creative ways that support well-being.

What’s New & Noteworthy at Media Power Youth

How Social Media Presents an Unrealistic View of Others’ Lives

By Youth Media Squad member Dhruv Penumatsa

When you log onto Twitter or Instagram, you are able to look at millions of pictures and videos of many amazing people, but this can have a negative effect on you. Many people face depression because they don’t feel good enough comparing themselves to other people’s looks, skills, or wealth. But all of these people are humans as well and they all have their own struggles.

Influencer Tricks

When people share things on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites, they pick and choose their best moments to make themselves look better. They may take 25 photos and choose less than 5 to post while using photoshop themselves or hiring an editor to do it for them. Many people use these tricks to boost followers which can lead to other people feeling depressed about their looks, social status, and many other factors. 

You may not have a personal editor or professional-level cameras, but that doesn’t mean you are any less than them. It is human nature to compare yourself to others, and you do that every day on social media. One important thing to realize is that everyone has their own struggles and battles and just because they look happy in a picture or video it doesn’t mean that they are on the inside.

Tips to help prevent this social media effect:

Take a break from Social Media

By taking a break from social media, you may find something new that you really enjoy, or you may just get a chance to get outside and connect with friends.

Limit time on Social Media

To prevent “doom scrolling,” limit your time on social media so that you’re not looking at people’s posts for too long. Try setting a limit for 90 minutes at first and you can shorten it if you feel you need to. You can even set screentime timers right on your iPhone or Android

Fill your feed with things that make you happy

By filling your feed with things that you want to see, you will be happier overall as you use social media. You can do this by searching for hashtags about things you enjoy, like animals, food, or scenery. Following hashtags like #nature, #cuteanimals, or #staypostive will also help algorithms know the type of content you want to see. If you ever start to feel regret or that you are not as good as someone else, it may be time to change what you’re looking at. When you look at your feed every day, ask yourself if this is making you feel like you can just be yourself. If so, great! If not, try looking for other things that make YOU happy.

If you find something that works for you, then it might work for others as well. Try giving these tips to your friends or even posting them on your social media accounts to spread the word about using social media in a positive way.