The View from Here: Social media reaches further than followers

Social media is a powerful tool that, unfortunately, society is not using to its maximum potential.

As student journalists, it’s absolutely imperative to learn all methods professionals use to publish content before spreading our wings and flying into the real world of newsrooms.

This includes professional social media platforms. It’s agreeable that social media can be used to enhance journalism by increasing readership and spreading content. This is a great advantage to have as journalists in this era. However, it can also hinder journalism if used incorrectly.

As reported by The Guardian in November 2015, 19-year-old Essena O’Neill quit Instagram after concluding that it wasn’t real life. On Oct. 27, 2015, the then 18-yearold Australian Instagram model, “deleted more than 2,000 pictures ‘that served no real purpose other than self-promotion’.”

O’Neill didn’t stop there. She took a 180 degree turn by drastically editing the captions of the photos that did remain, ultimately demonstrating to her then 612,000 followers not just how she truly felt but also how much money she made taking these photos.

On one post of O’Neill sporting a bikini, her original caption read, “Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun,” and was edited to read, “see how relatable my captions were – stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs.

I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection to get attention,” according to The Guardian. For some, social media generates unnecessary pressure on the average person to produce a lifestyle that only a celebrity, or Instagram model, would be able to afford.

Adults and teenagers are susceptible to potentially feeling less of themselves if their body isn’t the perfect shape or if their eyebrows aren’t precisely “on fleek.” People rush to catalog their every day events onto their tiny glowing screens while striving for “perfection.”

Social media is an electronic drug engaging with the user by giving them satisfaction, and still leaving them wanting more. It’s not that social media is bad, because it’s not. Users, including myself, need to learn to use it to enhance their professional lives as opposed to wasting time with each post of those “perfect” lives and situations.

The realization that social media posts reach more than just family and friends, readers, is one step in the right direction