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May 8, 2016

The Masks we Wear: 21st Century Connection is Tearing Us Apart.

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Stereotype, a word defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a fixed idea that many people have about a thing or a group that may often be untrue or only partly true.

Stereotypes, a reason that people are looked and thought of differently in my world and your world. Hence our world, because that seems to have gotten lost in my generation today.

Kids my age and even older still believe in the make-believe. This unrealistic world that social media (and our everyday surroundings) has created for us. This fictional world of having a huge house, lots of money, the nicest cars and the best body is the goal in the 21st century.

When did the material superficial world start running our lives?

The real question is when did we start letting it.

In my everyday life I’m considered “popular” and I’d always thought that it’s a good thing to be, but recently I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t. In movies and books, pretty much anything to do with media being popular is shown to be the ideal group to be, whereas this is far from the truth.

I’ve recently come to realize what people think of me and I’m not pleased. I’ve been told that my friends and I are “perfect,” my least favorite word of all time. I hate the word “perfect” because it’s impossible to achieve. It’s like this unattainable goal you know you can never accomplish. The concept of perfect immediately sets you up for failure. If a girl finally gets down to 120 pounds, she is always going to find another flaw about herself. It’s this never ending vicious cycle of self-hatred and misery.

I was first exposed to the world of social media in elementary school. I was already exposed to what it meant to be fixated on the concept of the ideal body type. Whenever my friends would go to the pool I would never go because I was too self-conscious.

This is the real reason wanting to be “perfect” is the worst, it’s because it takes all the fun out of life.

If we spend our entire lives trying to be “perfect,” we will never discover our best self. Nowadays, people spend hours cropping out everything imperfect about images. In my eyes, everything imperfect about the image is the most beautiful part, because it’s real. It’s everything you don’t want people seeing, the raw and untouched. The raw and untouched is what makes us different and what makes us ourselves. The raw is that mole on your back or your loud laugh.

Why can’t we all just be perfect in our own way?

Thousands of girls (and myself included) look in the mirror and see all of the flaws and imperfections in our self, and honestly it breaks my heart. We are so insecure in our own bodies and one of the reasons is because girls on social media are too confident. Girls spend hours hiding every dark spot and pimple on their faces because they think it makes them look better, but why is fake pretty?

Every year around Halloween, over the loudspeaker at school the announcer says we cannot wear masks. I wonder why that line isn’t said everyday. Almost the whole population hides their true self because in this century, different is frowned upon; so it seems as though every person wears a mask. Some masks show up more than others, but I’m almost positive that each and every single one of us is hiding an insecurity or quirk about them that they are too afraid to unveil. You may think this only happens with teens and kids of this generation, but it is happening everywhere and to everyone.

Our supposed role models untag themselves from their Facebook pictures because of the way they look in a photo. If these adults are voicing to us to be a certain way, why are they acting differently? Why are our role models telling us we’re not fat while they are on a diet. Why are they telling us to not wear makeup while they are getting botox? Why are they telling us to get off the internet while they spend all day on Facebook?

The 21st century is known as the most developed generation yet with all of our new technology, but for social life, the conditions are getting worse and worse.

Social media is supposed to bring us together, but instead it feels like it’s tearing us apart. If social media is supposed to connect us, why are we as detached as ever? We should have to talk to each other at the dinner table (and not be on our phones) and we shouldn’t have to post a picture just to let everyone know we were somewhere.

This crazy, superficial, self-absorbed world has taken over and when will it stop? Are we ever going to reach the wonderland that many people think already exists? Will we ever stop or are we going to just keep spiraling, getting deeper in this rabbit hole of modern society, or can we revert back to pre-connected society that recognizes our raw, untouched self?

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Relephant:

How Having an iPhone Changed Me—in the Worst Ways.

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Author: Isabella Edwards

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Image: Incase/Flickr

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Isabella Edwards