“Yes social media is a type of Utopia because you can make yourself look as good as you want yourself to. You don’t have to post your flaws on social media.” Growing up I have viewed social media as a question mark, like a black hole. We never think of the permanence of what we post on social media because we don’t understand the technicalities and because my era was born into a tech savvy community. Social media is a second language to the new era.
I am a victim. As my classmate Billy so eloquently stated, social media is a type of utopia. I believed it was at least. Look at my Instagram for example, the pictures below are all pictures I have posted within the last month. All edited* pictures of myself. Could I be more vain? Why do I post pictures of myself so frequently? Because I get a certain type of gratification when I reach a certain amount of likes or receive more than one comment on a post. I build up this image of myself to gain a feeling of popularity and worth. Sad, right? I would rather try out ten different filters on a picture than build a physical resume, or at least that’s how it feels when I scroll through my Instagram profile.
So really is it a utopia? I believe it is an amazing way of quickly updating the world on life events and staying in contact, but other than that Instagram is pointless. I have never experienced the dystopia of Instagram, but there are recent cases that have been brought to my attention. For example, a fan of Taylor Swifts posted a photo of herself and tagged Taylor in the photo. The girl’s comment underneath the photo was a quote from one of Swift’s songs about heartache. The girl was ridiculed for posting the picture. Swift saw the post and read the comments from these vicious people and decided to leave one of her own. She told the fan that she hated to see her upset and that her prince charming would come someday. Swift also responded to the bullies by telling the girl how she should continue to be herself because these people aren’t worth her time.
Seeing the harassment that this fan went through makes me scared of how capable people are of hurting and destroying each other’s self of steam. Although there was a light at the end of the tunnel, the damage was still done. Hiding behind a screen to edit pictures and comment makes social media have dystopian qualities. There needs to be a better and safer way to express ourselves technologically, without the negative and consequential backlash.