The Olympian

Instagram Isn’t Reality; Don’t Get Lost in It

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Instagram Isn’t Reality; Don’t Get Lost in It

Bethany Ruiz, staff writer

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A survey of hundreds of thousands of teens found that around thirteen percent of eighth to tenth graders who spent one to two hours on social media a week said that they were not happy. The rate of teens who were unhappy that used social media ten to nineteen hours per week was about eighteen percent, and those who spent forty or more hours per week on social media who were unhappy was about twenty-four percent.
However, by the twelfth grade, the negative connections between screen time and teen psychology began to disappear, but studies also found that teens with zero hours of screen time actually had higher rates of unhappiness compared to those who had screen time. The data from these surveys doesn’t provide much information besides the numbers, so we have to take all of the different factors into consideration.
For instance, some might say that seeing people’s posts of being out and doing things while they’re at home makes them sad, while others claim that social media keeps them in touch with their friends which makes them happy.
Part of us believes that the photos and videos we see on social media are a true representation of people’s actual lives, causing us to feel sad and miserable when we compare our imperfect lives with everyone else’s perfection. This problem only gets worse as we spend more time on these platforms – they lead us to believe that we’re seeing “real” people living “real” lives.
In reality no one wakes up looking refreshed, or reading the newspaper in bed next to their cute dog while drinking their morning coffee in perfect lighting. No one. All of the photos, captions, and videos on social media aren’t real.
The best way to get past social media’s illusion is to make that clear distinction between what’s real and what’s not, so if you do try to change your relationship with social media to a healthy one, remember to treat it for what it is: entertainment, not real life. Don’t compare yourself with the people you see on these platforms.

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Instagram Isn’t Reality; Don’t Get Lost in It