Social Media Impacts Views of Reality
November 12, 2021
Rachel Hicks. CTE teacher, business and finance teacher, and the Department Chair for the CTE department believes social media can influence people by giving them a false sense of reality.
“I think it can give us a false sense of what other people’s realities are,” Hicks said. “Things like Instagram where everything is a filter, we view these filters and think that is reality.”
That false of reality impacts people’s viewpoint of themselves and their lives.
“It kind of harms our thoughts,” Hicks said. “It can kind of hurt us and the way we view ourselves. And the way that we view their lives and thinking that this perfect filtered life is real when probably it’s not as real as we think it is.”
Junior Anastazia Mujimu believes that social media can bring on mental health issues from the actions of others.
“First of all, cyberbullying, many teenagers and younger kids go through this because of social media, and it can take a toll on their mental health,” Anastazia said.
The false sense of reality is only one part of the problem with social media according to Hicks.
“The toxic part of social media, I think, is we have to be mindful of who we follow,” she said. “I think we have to keep in mind that they’re putting their best foot out there, their best appearance out there.”
Social media can contain some highly traumatizing things so Anastazia has made it where if she sees anything disturbing she takes proper action to try and get it removed.
“I’ve tried to report the accounts and tried to get it banned, but that is about all I can do to help,” Anastazia said.
Then there are the posts that get taken down. Those decisions seem random at times with some bad posts left up while minor issue posts are taken down.
“Some people get community guidelines violations for the simplest things that really aren’t anything bad but then you see creators out there that are posting incredibly offensive or inappropriate things that anybody can get to,” Hicks said.
For instance, students saw a TikTok video with a kitten being killed by teenagers. Despite multiple reports, the video was left up for weeks. That is an extreme example of the problem.
“I think that companies that run social media platforms need to do a better job about creating algorithms and processes within their systems to be able to watch for those things, and to act accordingly,” Hicks said.
Anastazia , tries her best to look at the positive part of social media and attempts to share anything and everything she can to bring awareness to others.
“There was a recent situation on Tik-Tok that I seen about the Texas Abortion law, and I took a great interest in it, so I started to spread awareness on my social media platforms to the point where I’ve posted countless times on my stories and my feed,” Anastazia said.
On top of that students add to the problem any time there is an emergency on campus.
The first response often during an emergency is for students to pull out their phones and record the situation, but Hicks finds that disgusting.
“The reality of somebody having a medical emergency or they’re being in a fight, and the first reaction that people have is to record is extremely bothersome to me,” Hicks said. “I don’t know where we broke down culturally.”
Over all Hicks believes there are some positives to social media despite the negative parts.
“I think it has a lot of positives, but I do think it has a lot of negatives,” Hicks said. “I think we have seen that since its inception, and since its popularity has grown throughout, throughout our country.”
Overall her view on social media is positive despite all the bad things because it can make things better for people who are in a rough situation.
“Social media sometimes helps some kids that sometimes have a tough situation going on at home, so you can’t really talk to anyone,” Anastazia said. “So, because of social media, they can reach out to others, and they can help them.”