Sunday, July 16, 2017

Living A Double Life: How Social Media Affects Teenage Girls

Huffington Post

   While perusing the Internet and all of its social media platforms, I have come across a barrage of teenage girls' profiles, the majority of them being edited with filters. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram allow users to enhance their photos with contrasting light and various features for their faces. The animal filters on Snapchat add a new dimension of "cuteness" for girls to explore, while the floral, fairylike graphics provide a seemingly flawless appearance. According to Business Insider, teenagers adore social media because they are able to "make [their] friends jealous" and create virtual "stories" of images/videos that amplify their vacation's importance. Girls attempt to emulate celebrities with millions of followers, such as the Kardashians, Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, by photographing themselves with everyday items that have a cult following, such as Starbucks. 


     Singer/songwriter Cailee Rae (pictured above) illustrates that an innocent activity like drinking coffee is worthy of documenting, along with a pair of sunglasses and flirty pose. This inspires girls to seek the same attention from their friends and feel like leaders when they mention the amount of followers they have, creating their own apparent fanbase. 
    However, in actuality, many girls who are obsessed with social media live a double life. The countless images and videos that characterize the life they want to market towards others only reflect certain moments of their day. An article on The Age website mentions how Camryn, a teenager famous for her Instagram selfies, "spends ages putting on make-up, doing a look, turning her head, pouting and twisting for the mirror and her phone camera." Another social media-famous teen named Vali appeared in an interview wearing a basic T-shirt, denim shorts and bitten nails, contrary to the flawless appearance she is known for. Therefore, social media may paint an unrealistic picture of its users if they commit to persuading others that their life is seemingly perfect. 

Celebrities engaging in Snapchat's popular filters


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