Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Behind the filter of social media

by : 
KatiedeS

It's easy to be misled by social media. With the sudden rise of social networks over the last decade, we are now able to create our own online identities through the forms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, Pinterest ... the list goes on. At the touch of a button we're able to share photos, videos and our thoughts and feelings with friends and followers all over the world. It has become a platform to share all the positives in our lives, a way to show off, for example when we go on holiday. Our culture has become obsessed with counting the number of 'likes' we get on a photo or how many 'favourites' we get on a tweet. It's easy to look at someone on social media and consider them to have the perfect life, however in many cases there is another story behind the filtered selfies.

An Australian 'Instagram celebrity' called Essena O'Neill recently made headlines after she decided to quit social media. Despite having over half a million Instagram followers she revealed her pictures were all completely fake and had been set up. She explained she was often paid by companies to post photos and would take hundreds of selfies before posting what appeared to be a candid shot.

Social media can also often make us feel isolated, since we only ever see one side of a person's life. You will rarely see someone post to say they are watching TV on their own or studying for an exam, whereas it's normal to see people out socialising with friends. It's easy to assume all our friends are having an amazing time all the time, but remember to take what you see on social media with a pinch of salt; someone's online presence may not be all it's cracked up to be.

Discussion

What do you think about social media? Which sites and apps do you use?