Love, Elena: Social Media

Love, Elena: Social Media

Elena Nasar, Writer and Head Editor

Dear Elena,

I am going to be completely honest with you. I begged, and begged my parents to allow me to have social media because they refused to let me use it. I repeated the phrase, “but everyone has it!” until my parents finally caved. When I was first able to download all these apps like TikTok and SnapChat, I was over the moon! I could finally talk to my friends and be included in what everyone else was, or at least so I thought. In the beginning, social media was fun and exciting. But now, I hate to admit I wish I never downloaded it. Since I started using social media not only have my friends and I gotten in more arguments, but I have felt more insecure than ever. On social media, it is so easy to get into a never ending fight with your friends, even when it is not that big of a deal. The worst part is, you aren’t talking face to face so it’s hard to understand each other. I also got used to an unrealistic beauty standard created by society that makes me feel like my looks are not enough.  The point is, now I really want to delete these platforms but I don’t want to be excluded from what is going on with my friends. I feel like my friends would think I was weird, or immature, and I certainly don’t want to tell my parents that I deleted it after all our arguments about it. What do you think I should do to overcome this problem? Do I delete the apps or continue this struggle to fit in?



Dear Anonymous,

I totally see your dilemma. I’m pretty sure most people have experienced the same thoughts you are having now. Social media has brought on many challenges to the world. I 100% agree with your idea that it is so easy to get caught up in fights on text because of the fact you are not actually talking in person. I have learned that people handle their emotions much better in person. You don’t have to wait endlessly for an answer, or overthink. My best advice for this specific problem is to avoid conflict online. If your friend posts something that upsets you, or you disagree with, consider waiting to speak with them in person before you message them digitally. I know it is hard to control yourself, but trust me, life will be so much better if you do. As for TikTok and unrealistic beauty standards, it is very upsetting to see that most people on social media are very superficial. Always remember, you are perfect the way you are and there is more to you than what is on the outside. Obviously, I can’t decide if you should delete the apps or not, but here’s what I think. If social media is affecting you this much to a point you are feeling very insecure and down, delete it. I have a friend who has a phone, but no social media, and to be honest she is one of the nicest and happiest people I know. She’s never in a bad mood and is always uplifting others. Research shows social media has many downsides such as causing mental problems, a lot of the time for people who experience the same feelings as you. If you aren’t yet ready to delete this apps, ask your parents to set a time limit on your phone so you can only use them for a little bit of time every day. This way, you will not spend as much time on your devices and will think of your screen time as valuable, and won’t use it wrongly because of that. Regardless of your decision, there is nothing more important than reality, and if you focus on your real life and not social media, trust me you will be much happier and lead a more positive life.

Love, Elena