Increasingly our young adults are making their online image as important as their actual image. So this is why online pressures are so much more consuming in your youth. As we get older we get busier. Facebook profiles become more about documenting travel and achievements, keeping in touch with old friends and reminiscing than the artificial excitement we experienced online when we were younger. Many young adults spend time immersed in fashion blogs looking to eradicate so-called imperfections, told to loose weight, told that with physical perfection and beauty happiness and riches will follow. Pinterest gets misused and the quotes used to fuel a self-hatred and depression, when the pictures are mainly there to inspire and generate happiness. Some escapes from reality become a dark flight rather than a positive voyage.
Forum conversations with strangers about the best angle to give the illusion of having a six pack or how to hide your flaws on SnapChat are of major importance. On one hand, our young people may feel alienated by day-to-day life and have found a place where people understand them. The mistake is to become over reliant on the internet and let it take over from reality and let it affect your outlook and ultimately your future. Too many people are letting the Internet and the media tell them how to act, look and behave. This flawed oracle is a false prophet and a quick fix. Children are expected to express themselves and to be themselves. The pressure is on for them to build self-esteem and also to find a way to be an individual but also not to alienate themselves from others in real life and online. It’s a thin line.
The impact of the Internet continues to transform the way young people identify themselves in new and extremely narcissistic ways. This is leading to a warped understanding of themselves and how they interact, relate and communicate with each other. It is not so unusual for young people to create separate personalities or personas for themselves, however this is being heightened by access of online technology which can change their image at a touch of a button. This does lead to pressure to perform and look perfect which leads to an unhealthy desire to be accepted and loved by their peers. Equally it also opens them up to be measured and judged unrealistically which may lead to rejection and hurt doled out by their ‘social’ circle. LYP works with schools to provide an early intervention strategy to help young people with their self-esteem issues before they they make consequential decisions based out of their emotions.