REBECCA REINGOLD ’17
Surrounded by constant social media presence and awareness, society is under constant surveillance by its peers. It comes as no surprise that users of any form of social media revolve their attention and determination of self-worth over the amount of likes a post may receive. There are a variety of posts a person may put on different forms of social media such as photos, videos, statuses, etc.
However, given society’s technological advancement and more prevalent access to social media servers, it is certainly worrisome to consider the drastic effects this increase in access can cause.
Different forms of social media, such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram focus much of their viewers’ attention on the amount of likes a post receives. These various forms of social media continuously undergo a variety of updates and changes in order to make sharing and accessing the app easier to the public.
Since the percentage of social media users has increased immensely throughout the 21st century and will continue to grow, it certainly has a drastic effect on the well-being of individuals and their tactics of social media use.
It clearly goes without saying that people who hide behind their computer have easier times saying what they feel. However, this has impaired individuals’ abilities to have face-to-face contact, and feel comfortable with face-to-face contact.
The way that a person interacts over social media is exceptionally different from how they would act in person.
With more time to think before we speak, it baffles me that people choose to say more offensive and ludicrous things, as opposed to constructive, concise, and organized thoughts.
As a result, some people using the “likes” of social media have a more strategic and more cautious outlook on what they share and post. Fearing judgment from a greater group of people, since social media users are able to reach large groups of people at once, people tend to be much more aware of the timing and the placement of each of their posts.
Recently, I was told that the best time to post a photo on Instagram is Sundays after 8:00 P.M. and Wednesday evenings after 7:00 P.M.
This strategic time specification is what drives people to feel reassured that they will not have an anxiety attack after posting at these times since, statistically, they will receive more likes and attention.
The fact that likes alone can have such an impact on when people post and what they post is a relatively baffling concept.
As someone who partakes in this social media anxiety, it is certainly ridiculous to think about what is upsetting me.
Will I be able to change my actions and outlook on how caught up I get on the amount of likes I get on posts?
Most definitely not.
We live in a society where that matters, where getting the right amount of attention via social media is pivotal in who you are as a person.
It defines your ability to reach a broader spectrum of people and it defines how well-liked, no pun intended, you are.
Still, I have an assortment of photographs that I am waiting to post on Facebook and Instagram for the “perfect time” so that it may receive the “perfect amount of attention.”
This anxiety, without a doubt, is instilled in the majority of social media users.
The amount of times that peers, including myself, have deleted posts because it has not received an adequate amount of attention in a timely manner is simply depressing.
In fact, the concept of “likes per minute” is a ratio invented by social media users to determine whether or not a post will receive attention.
Likes determine a person’s self-confidence. If a post does not receive the amount of likes that a person had intended when posting it, that person will certainly feel a stab to their ego.
Disappointment seems to be more prevalent amongst social media users than people who have never used any form of social media. Of course, I don’t have the facts to back this claim up. However, it is pretty safe to say that if you weren’t playing devil’s advocate- because everyone has an opinion- you would agree with this entire article.
In fact, I have had my own personal social media anxiety over the fact that a changed profile picture or an Instagram post has received less than one hundred likes. That is at least one hundred people who physically like a post.
When a person receives three hundred, maybe even more, likes on a post, I can’t help but wonder how that person determines his or her own self-worth.
Do they consider themselves a D-list celebrity for receiving a button-press from a large group of acquaintances or strangers?
It is difficult to combat this social media anxiety, but it is more difficult to determine a person’s honest self-worth when we only know them through their likes on social media.
Social media and the impending threat of “likes”
REBECCA REINGOLD ’17
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