Social media and perception

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With the widespread use of social media platforms, teenagers can share everything they do from their most recent meal to their whole life story with the click of a button. For some, social media is an outlet to showcase their interests and hobbies that they might not be able to show in real life.

Online, sophomore Jessie Hirsch reveals a surprising passion for performing trapeze tricks. “Most people get surprised; they generally don’t realize unless they see it or I show them specifically. I post the videos for myself to have, but it’s also a way to show people what I do and the fact that it’s available for  people to do,” she said.

Sophomore Vivian Chen also enjoys sharing dance videos on Instagram. “I share my dance videos on Instagram because now social media is our main form of communication,” she said. “Some people are surprised when they find out I dance or see my dance videos because I’m typically not as expressive normally.”

Sophomore Vivian Mei, who occasionally shares drawings on her art account, said, “It feels good to share something I’m passionate about, since I don’t really show it that often in school.”

On the other hand, some believe social media also limits personal interaction. Sophomore Stephanie Li explained, “I think it makes teens more shy in real life because it’s much more comfortable to talk through screens [and] that also doesn’t give the same connection as in real life interactions.”

On social media, users can “avoid any social awkwardness and any hesitations someone might have,” according to junior Xander Izower. He added, “Now that a lot of social interactions are online, more intimate conversations are held through a messaging app rather than in person.”

Many believe that social media also allows you to learn things about people you don’t know too well in real life. Junior Shane Werther stated, “In real life you only see them in a bubble at school, but through social media you see part of their lives that could be new or unexpected. I learn more about them so I see them differently.”

Sophomore Jessie Ye added on, saying that from scrolling through upperclassmen’s Instagram profiles, “ You can see how much they have ‘glowed up,’ and how much they have changed within four years- stylistically…. It’s crazy how even though I might have not personally talked to them, I feel like I know their life story.”

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