In recent years, tech companies that run popular social media platforms have found ways to manipulate and control what people think by brainwashing their mostly teenage users through misinformation, peer pressure tactics, and harmful academic pressures. Society is like your toxic ex boyfriend. They won’t leave you alone no matter how many times you ask them to leave and they hover over you like a bee attracted to your perfume. Teenagers and Society go hand in hand. If you are a teenager in our world today there is a huge amount of societal pressure that is put on your shoulders. This feeling tends to make teenagers feel that they have “grown up” even though their brain is still developing (Scripps).

Social Media is partly to thank for this, it has a huge impact on its users, especially its young audience who are easier to manipulate. On social media there is this stigma where everything you post has to look perfect and you have to fit the mold that society wants you in. “We see perfection as a goal to strive towards, however many doctors and psychologists see it as a disease” (“Pressure to be Perfect”). Social Media has the ability to create a false reality which can lead to a toxic mindset.

Perfectionism radiates off of social media and academic pressures. This is a rapidly growing concern in today’s society. A perfectionist is “anyone who sets excessively high unrealistic goals” (“Pressure to be Perfect”). In school, there is pressure to do good and get acceptable grades. Some students push themselves to get only 100% on everything which is usually very hard to do. When those perfectionists do not meet their goal they feel as if their life is ruined and they have failed at everything. This can create severe anxiety and depression for many. Especially when applying to college, high school students think that they have to have the perfect resume to apply: Outstanding Grades and impressive extracurricular activities. This anxiety causing mindset continues while in college. There is a stereotype that you need to get all A’s in order to enter the real-world and experience a true job in your major. This is a circle that just keeps going around and around until the person is extremely worn out and doesn’t have the energy or motivation to complete school.

Peer Pressure also relates to perfectionism and the social pressure to fit in. As a teen, you experience peer pressure all the time. Teens’ brains are still developing and one of the imitate functions of this is judgement (Scripps). There is positive and negative peer pressure. Positive Peer pressure can help teens develop skills that can help them cope while going into adulthood. It could also encourage teens to participate in sports and avoid harmful behavior. On the flip side, negative peer pressure can lead teens into harmful behavior that can ruin their life especially going into college. It could introduce them to drugs, alcohol and skipping school. Just because you see all of your friends doing it does not necessarily mean that you should too.

In conclusion, the social pressure to be perfect is growing everyday. We as a population need to come together and change this toxic environment that is growing in our own heads. We can do so by staying off of social media more than we already do and being there for each other when someone is having a bad day. Societal pressures have a way of manipulating us and the people around us but we can be the ones to put a stop to this trap that society has us in.

Works Cited

“Truth about Perfectionism.” Pressure To Be Perfect, https://u.osu.edu/pressuretobeperfect/truth-about-perfectionism/.

Pediatrics. “How Peer Pressure Affects Teenagers.” Scripps Health, 10 Sept. 2021, https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4648-how-does-peer-pressure-affect-a-teen-s-social-development.

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Fatima
November 8, 2021 7:26 pm

Dear Julia,

In your post, “Perfect is Overrated,” I learned how social media influences young people to believe otherwise about their bodies. Social media influences them to grow up way too fast than they should. It doesn’t show the truth. Many are taught that they have to change or dress and have a specific body type to fit in in today’s society. Where if they don’t have the latest trending things or a specific figure that they cant fit in with everyone else. Social media can affect many people in a negative way because it brainwashes them and pressures them. Which a huge variety of them are teenagers.

Social media has a huge impact on teenagers and everyone else. It manipulates them to either grow up to fast or try to fit in and change who they are, which is not good. We can’t believe everything we see on social media is true because it’s not. Lots of it is false. And I also don’t like how teens and other kids get manipulated into believing they must change. They should be able to be comfortable with themselves and be who they really are instead of trying so hard to be someone they aren’t or something that isn’t even a reality.

A sentence that stood out to me was, “Perfectionism radiates off of social media and academic pressures. In school, there is pressure to do good and get acceptable grades. Some students push themselves to get only 100% on everything which is usually very hard to do.” It grabbed my attention because not only do they talk about how social media affects people on the way they view themself and their perspective of beauty standards for both females and males but they mention academics. The reason for this is because on social media as we know not everything is true and people can create this mindset for others that if you get the best grades and get the best academics in school that “There is a stereotype that you need to get all A’s in order to enter the real-world and experience a true job in your major.”

While yes, part of it is true, good grades are needed but not to the point where it affects you negatively. Such as punishing yourself or falling into depression. Grades can be a huge matter to one. It can cause many negative effects where you can feel completely worn out and no longer have the motivation to keep trying. That’s what we don´t want and that’s a concept on the media that makes it unrealistic for teens and makes it hard on them. We should always try out best no matter what and be who we are. We should never let social media convince us nor make us believe to change because not everything we see on social media is true.

Do you believe everything you see on social media is true? If so what have you believe to be true? How did it affect you?

Last edited 6 months ago by Fatima
October 29, 2021 11:58 pm

Dear Julia,

I am thrilled by your post “Perfect is Overrated” because mean teens try to be the perfect image. They try to meet the beauty and other standards that society had put up. Even though you should just be yourself and accept who you are as a person.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: ” Social Media has the ability to create a false reality which can lead to a toxic mindset.” I think this is serious because many teens try to become like the celebrities they see on social media. They try to change themselves to look like them and it can result in harming their body.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because this is a topic that I like to talk about and being a part of. As a teen, I can understand where some of these teens are coming from. Most of the things you said are relatable.

Lesly

October 29, 2021 12:47 pm

I think this is a great topic to explore especially because we are seniors at a college prep high school. We work super hard to get great grades and impress colleges to further our education. I liked your use of evidence as you had many different quotes to prove and further your points about how perfectionism ruins teenagers self image. I feel like you should dig deeper into the analysis of what the effects of perfectionism are and what that leads to.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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