by Kayla Mills

Millions of people log into social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter on a daily basis.

With social media, users are able to view the lives of others without actually seeing them face to face.

Most of these media platforms were intended to connect people from all around the world, but now some people are feeling less connected and more like spectators.

Especially Instagram, which is home to more of a “picture perfect” platform.

It feels like everything and everyone is great and living a life full of abundance.

Instagram has a standard for its user: be an influencer, have a huge following, get tons of likes, look great while doing that and enjoy life because it’s perfect!

Obviously no one is actually telling us this is but it is the standard. This is what we see and this is how the comparisons initiate.

Someone might say “Well stop being insecure; be more secure with yourself then it wouldn’t bother you.”, but as humans we will always compare ourselves to others.

We didn’t log into a social media platform with the intentions of comparing ourselves, but it eventually just happens..

When we see a certain pattern in the world, we get used to it and feel like this is the standard and we start to notice that we’re not doing the same things as everyone else.

Then we’ll start to ask ourselves, “Do I conform to these virtual standards?”

For example, for women, the new social beauty standard is great curves and a flat stomach.

It’s already shown as standard by celebs and its now shown as a standard in clothing.

I’m not saying that anything is wrong with that unique shape but when its being advertised as the only shape being shown on the hottest online stores and what people deem as attractive; what do we do?

A plus sized lady may feel like an outlier.

Some people who are actually just genetically “thick”, or might have a little tummy might feel the pressure of having the flat stomach with it, or for someone who’s more petite might feel the pressure of gaining weight to fill out certain areas.

But what if you can’t achieve these “goals” or “standards”? You might feel disappointed and view yourself and your body negatively.

The social media pressure go beyond body types and sometimes touch on relationships.

Twitter users constantly preach about putting “your all” into whoever you’re dating or show them off on your prolife for validation.

It’s unrealistic and potentially harmful to have this way of thinking. At that age, we’re still trying to find ourselves and figure out what we like. Everything is trial and error.

More importantly, there should be no need for external validation of your SO on social media outlets.

Although it’s not explicitly stated, Twitter possesses a hive mentality.

On Instagram and Twitter you’ll see people who have clear skin and claim that they use XYZ products or eat/drink XYZ.

Everybody is different, what might work for others might not work for you.

Yes this is common knowledge but when you see almost everyone posting pictures with clear skin, you start to question yourself.

Social media users who deal with hyperpigmentation or acne, deal with the pressure of trying to obtain clearer skin.

There are hundreds of testimonies online of people who try all different methods to have clear skin as the people they see on certain platforms.

These methods will go from moderate to extreme depending on how desperate the spectators are.

You’ll constantly see the latest designer clothing being worn by people you idolize or people you follow and you might want to have the same.

The social media pressures spread to how our skin should look, how we should dress, how much money we should have and how hard we should work to reach those standards.

People will only show the rewards of things they got but not how they got them.

This is why its detrimental to think that someone may look better, dress better, have a better relationship than you.

Social media takes a toll on our mental health and our self-esteem when were on it 24/7. Whether you acknowledge it or not we’re constantly comparing ourselves to the next person.

Some people can handle the pressure better than others. If being on these platforms drains you and make you view yourself negatively; try to lessen your time on it.

Take a social media detox. You might feel better. Remember that social media life isn’t real, virtual life isn’t real and it’s not a reflection of you.

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