We are so excited to have Lizzy as our guest poster today! Lizzy is an eighteen-year-old woman born in Sydney and living in London. She loves pastel nail polish, avocado on toast and high heels. She blogs about all things beauty, fashion and travel at elizabethandher.com.

the impact of social media

Hi there. I'm Lizzie - and I am apparently deemed 'fake' because I post edited images on social media.

Recently, an instagram model brought up the issue that people are seen as fake when they use social media. When people are able to filter their photos and edit their captions, they portray a lie.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a powerful message and does, to some degree, ring true for me. Most people do edit their photos. On instagram, one of the biggest photo sharing platforms, individuals create a reputation that can be shared to the masses. ‘Photographic Art’, as it is called, needs to be of high quality to attract an audience (or a ‘heart’). However, many posts can be inspirational and appealing regardless of their quality.

One could also say that a woman wearing makeup is also a “lie” because she is ‘enhancing her natural features’, similar to what individuals do in photographs. (Photoshop is a different issue entirely, I am talking purely about minimal changes with photos here).

I enjoy using social media (although, as everyone in their final year of school will tell you, it is a black hole of procrastination) and expressing myself and having my voice heard through  instagram, tumblr, and facebook. The problem with social media is that people tend to have an inward focus of “if I don’t get enough likes, I am not popular enough”, which all boils down to the psychology of popularity and the social pressures of beauty/masculinity.

Social Media has many benefits and helps shaped the way we think and learn. For instance, when traveling abroad, social media has been one of the key aspects in maintaining contact with my loved ones by posting photos on facebook or communicating through messenger. Sure, every once in awhile, I enjoy disconnecting from social media on a “digital detox,” but in general, one can live in harmony with social media, and still have time to live their life. I use social media and still spend most of my day exploring the world I live in. It only becomes a problem when you let it control you.

Having people follow you means that they enjoy the content that you post.The amount of people that follow me on instagram does not define my worth as a person; my followers follow me because they enjoy the content that I post and the photos that I upload- simple as that. Editing my photos (I use vsco cam for most of them, as well as using a professional camera in some cases) doesn’t mean I am living “a lie”. I may enhance the saturation of a photo or experiment with different filters, but the intention behind the photo is still the same. When shooting for my blog, for example, I try to get the best angles and the most natural lighting for my photographs because I want it to be visually appealing. I am thinking of what readers want to see and how I can appeal to them. On the other hand, I work hard at posting photos and content that I love because I am passionate about the subject.

Social media continues to grow and has transformed into a large aspect of society’s daily lives. Originally, the forms of “social media” were the newspapers, television and email, where individuals could be kept up to date with the daily news. Nowadays, people are allowed more access into the personal lives of others and can be reached through instagram, facebook, blogs and the like (or writing letters- that’s still a thing!).

Thank you so much, Lizzy! Be sure to check out Lizzy's blog, elizabethandher


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