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.
“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.