Perfection Reflection: The need for teens to post the best photo of themselves on social media

Lena Palmieri, Staff Writer

Whether it’s new trends or fashion styles, kids are always inspired by what they see on the internet. Some decide to look at funny videos or learn new skills, and others use it to keep up with their favorite celebrity. However, the majority choose to share pictures on these large social platforms. This current staple of communication between young adults has brought many benefits, but it has also given rise to cyberbullying with people being discriminated for their style choice. Sophomore Ava Connolly enjoys posting on social media and believes that children do not need to be scared of people judging their photos. 

“I think you shouldn’t [have anxiety] because if you like the picture, if you like going to take pictures you should just post it,” Connolly said. “It should be fun, it shouldn’t be something that you get anxiety over.”

For something as minuscule as a post on a certain platform, it can have a very large impact on a person’s mental health. Teens have fabricated this expectation that they must act or look a specific way or else they will be ridiculed. 

“Everyone just wants to see the straight line standard,” Connolly said. “I feel like you shouldn’t just look at what people look like on social media because it’s definitely not true, it’s probably like edited and stuff.”

Even though most kids know that the stuff they see on the internet is fake, they still try to copy other people’s styles so as to not be seen as different. This toxic atmosphere on social media has led parents to withhold social media until a certain age.  Junior Regan Cannon chooses to not have it at all. 

“I think it has helped my mental health by simply not having to worry about how I appear online,” Cannon said. “It also can damage your self-esteem by feeling like you have to compare yourself with others.”

Teens scroll for hours on their phones looking at the accounts of their peers and questioning how others look at them. They may take a million photos and spend hours trying to choose the best one, so they can show off the perfect version of themselves.

“Youth posts are how other people are viewing you online, so it makes sense to want to have the best image of yourself on there,” Cannon said. “I think the expectation comes from seeing other people’s posts.”

Through comparing, teens have created an environment that requires them to look flawless online for fear that they will be outcasted. Certain people see social media as a hierarchy, with the popular kids getting many likes and comments. Oftentimes, teens end up posting for likes, rather than originality. 

“I think worrying too much about your posts can take the fun and creativity out of social media,” Cannon said.  “You should post what you’re proud of and not judge your own worth based on likes or views.”