How Social Media Has Ruined Our Self-Esteem

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For those of you who have been living under an enormous rock, the 21st century has undergone a paradigm shift to become the advent of social media. Social media has now become so common, that even my nearly 70-year-old grandmother goes on to Facebook to check up on her friends. Of course, everyone who owns a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account will probably argue that social media is a great way to connect people regardless of region and whatnot, but the reality is, it poses a high risk of potentially ruining our self-esteem.

1.     Having THAT Many Facebook Friends Is Grossly Unrealistic

So how exactly does this ruin our self-esteem? Imagine having 1,000 friends on Facebook. That’s pretty much the average friend count of a person who has been on Facebook for several years now (or more, if you’re trying to be hipster). How many of them do you actually know personally? I know for a fact that there are people who approve friend requests or add people as friends randomly just for the sake of multiplying their friend count. Fast forward a couple of months, and you’re in desperate need of help. Who’s going to help you now? Probably around less than 5 people. You’re then going to realize that your so-called “popularity” has failed you.

2.     Owning An Instagram Account 

I can’t be the only girl who has this problem. Tap the Popular Page tab, and Victoria’s Secret models are all over the page. Tap the Home Page, and I see selfies of pretty girl friends with their Forever 21 #ootd. Tap my personal Profile Page and smell nothing but the musk of inferiority. And, seriously, is it me or is every girl on Instagram leggy and tall with flowy hair and flawless complexions?! And then there’s me with my stupid braces and my stupid large feet and my stupid height. Or lack of. And don’t even get me started on the likes.

3.     Tumblr, Or Any Other Blogging Site For That Matter

As an aspiring writer, I take writing in any form seriously. That being said, one of my favourite past times is trolling around on other people’s blogs, be it on Tumblr, Blogger or WordPress. Somehow, I am swept by a wave of inferiority when I read what other people have to say. It’s not just their language that captivates me. It’s the way their words are strung, like odd beads put together to form a precious necklace. They are also highly insightful, and when I re-read my posts, I feel like I have the writing capability of a Siamese Cat. I know not every one wants to be a writer, but I’m sure you can relate, especially on Tumblr, when you’re looking through those (ironically) mainstream hipster images of long-legged girls with fantastic bedrooms/wardrobes/sense of fashion.

4.     Follower Count On Twitter

I used to be one of those people who was incredibly paranoid about my follower count on Twitter. Every time I lost a follower, I’d wonder if my tweets were too annoying, then I’d simmer down for just a bit. My follower count has been fluctuating so much that I eventually just lost hope of ever becoming engaging to anyone.

On good days, I brush all this off my shoulders. But on my low days, it bugs me quite a bit. I know some people are going to dub me “shallow” and “insecure”, and so, I accept that whole-heartedly. However, don’t you dare for a second say that this doesn’t happen to any of you too. Especially if you’re a girl.

What can we do about this though? Recently, I stopped caring so much about what people on social media think of me. I probably won’t stop caring about what the people I love think about me, but at least those Facebook “friends” have been completely written out. Not happy with your image? Work out. Buy new clothes. Not happy with the way you write? Read more. Derive inspiration from little things. Not happy with things you can’t change? Accept it.

And that, my friends, is the key to happiness.

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Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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