As humans, we adapt to situations and often present ourselves differently depending on the setting. We take pride in this. Our ability to speak professionally, make conversation with adults, make friends easily and often. We wear many masks and that is part of life. However, we often have many moments throughout our day and lives where we can unmask ourselves and breathe in our authenticity while no one is watching. Social media is a permanent mask. Every second of every day, we put on a mask. But this time it is not for just one set of people, it is for all people. And this time it is not for one type of person, we attempt to please all at all times.

Throughout history, we are survived by our tribes. Approval from the people around us allows us to feel secure in our resources. Social media replaces these instincts and makes us strive for the approval of thousands of people- as if it is life or death.

We value authenticity, be yourself. How can everyone be themselves, expected to get the most likes and follows – to be liked and followed by all- if the very definition of being human is to be unique? To please all interests of people would be to alter your own for the pleasure of others. Lies and self-sabotage.

I am a 19-year-old college student. I am the posterchild of Gen Z, medicated, burnt out, addicted to my screen. To say social media is killing us is not an exaggeration. Social media contributes to anxiety and depression among teens- which too often leads to suicide.

An entire generation of leaders and innovators dying at the hands of the psychological toxins in social media.

Social media makes it very hard for me to take my mask off. I love being unmasked, and I’m pretty sure we all strive to live unmasked lives. Social media is inhibiting me from embracing my true authenticity. Soon I will be able to enjoy social media as I should.

Social media is impeding us as a generation from growing up and taking off our masks. Where do we go in a world without truth?

One Comment

    • cxellem@gmail.com

    • 6 months ago

    “breathe in our authenticity” is beautiful imagery. It makes me think of walking in the door, kicking of shoes and settling in to a more natural state. I then imagine picking up a phone and opening social media being like holding my breath, taking me out of my body and out of the present.

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