By Joseph Iemma
How many “selfies” does it take to settle on the “perfect” picture? How many times have you posted a “fire” picture onto social media, but your peers didn’t reciprocate (like the photo), so you deleted it? Although the players remain the same, the games and the rules of which the players play by, have changed ten-fold.
Once upon a time, well, really before all of these social media sites, we would look at each other on the Starbucks line, and make our judgments from there. However, “We now look at the person’s Instagram first, make our first judgment, and then we take it from there,” said senior history major, Kathy Rice. “I can name 1,000 times where some guy would like [my posts] on Instagram, I guess showing interest in
me, but then in person, no social contact, none whatsoever,” she added.
When Rice told me this story, I literally, “loled,” but this really is no laughing matter.
Let’s me ask you again, why does it take 200 pictures to get that one perfect selfie?! To be honest, folks, I think I have that answer. The mini photo shoot we partake in when we want to post a picture on social media is caused by something I would like to call, “Social Perfection,” a.k.a delusion.
I believe that social media is driving our youth to the brink of insanity as it causes them to feel the need to to “qualify” within their respective social groups. For example, Marcella Anteri, a Suffolk County High School physics teacher, recalled a story about one of her students and social media.
“One of my juniors, who will remain nameless, came to me at the end of class,” said Anteri. “That class, she did none of her physics homework, and totally bombed my quiz. She came to me, and before she could say anything, tears began pouring from her face.”
Anteri later revealed that her student’s disarray stemmed from her fear that she was being judged off of her social media posts. According to Anteri, her student told her, “I accidentally liked my friend’s ex-boyfriend’s picture, and they’ve been ignoring me all week.”
We all know being in high school can come with its times of social hardship to say the least, but if you think about it, social media just adds to that fire we deal with in our adolescent years. In the age of social media and texting, misinterpretation and cyberbullying have run rampant. It has led Mike Kurtz, a junior education major, across the street at NYIT to stop texting all together.
“You really wouldn’t believe how many fights [with friends] I’ve gotten into because I didn’t answer a text within three minutes, or reply ‘lol’ instead of replying ‘lmfao,’” Kurtz said. “I remember one time where a girl I was dating told me a joke, at which I replied [over text], ‘lol.’ She later texted saying, ‘I haven’t liked your attitude all day and that last text proves you’re giving me one right now.’”
“I never texted her back after that, because I knew where it was going to go,” said Kurtz. “If I have something to say, or want to talk to you then I’m just going to call you. I’m bringing back the phone call!”
Social media to me is a synthetic form of human interaction; a form of interaction, which in most cases that does us more harm than good. Yes, social media links us beyond the classroom and to each corner of the Earth; however, Instagram, Twitter, even Facebook, and Snapchat, have become portfolios, or as I’d like to call them, “baseball cards” to track our latest social undertakings, misleadingly presenting them to our peers.
Posting a picture of your lavish vacations, the new car, your selfie, taken from an angle that probably led you to sprain your wrist and shoulder, and not to mention your “following to followers ratio.” Social Media allows us to portray ourselves in our “best” light, and that’s great! What if social media just further enhances the saying “perception is reality,” in a world where everyone’s perception of each other is derived of social media. It makes me wonder if we are losing our authenticity, and that’s kind of scary. Well, too scary to me at least.