Is a spam account sharing too much?
As teenagers in this day and age, hearing the redundant call-outs on toxicity in social media (and phones altogether) is not a rare occurrence. More often than not, when these buzzwords are thrown around, it is easy to tune out.
However, addressing the existence and possibility of toxicity in the online world can open many doors to embracing and experiencing new technology in a more productive, proactive light.
The rise of having second Instagram account or a “finsta,” is rapidly expanding. These accounts often act as an extension of individuals, and a place where personal day-to-day diaries and updates can live and be shared with followers. Crying selfies. Horror stories. Happy moments. Life changes. Questions. Surely this experience can be a beautifully enlightening and unique one in its ability to elevate communication. But in another light, users should be cautious and ask themselves: “What is too much?”
Like anything in life, it is not unnatural to come to the conclusion that humans lean towards escapist tendencies. Going to social media with that subconscious desire is neither out of the ordinary or all that surprising.
“When we look at the purpose of life, we are trying to change our consciousness. Going to school, watching T.V., using drugs and alcohol, having sex, and using social media are all ways to escape reality,” said Ben Backes, East Lyme High School’s substance abuse counselor.
On top of that, accessibility to escape is easier than it has ever been. Mr. Backes explains the efficiency of phones, and the notion that it is quick fulfillment. Distraction and validation are easiest to latch onto because they are in our pockets at all times and only a click away. It is not surprising that teenagers would cling to something as fast, easy, and sufficient like the feelings social media can ignite.
“It [spam accounts] does touch on a very humanitistic thing: ‘I want to be heard. I want people to know about me,’” elaborated Mr. Backes. “Something I heard from Dr. Jordan Peterson is that the universe’s currency is recognition.”
What this means for teenagers is that the exposure to instant gratification and recognition on such an accessible scale might generate some opportunities to be cautious. When it is that much easier to gain validation through a screen, it is that much easier to abuse and become reliant on it. Nurturing real-life relationships to feel seen, heard, and valid might be a better use of your energy than staying glued to your screen. It’s only human to crave likes and comments offering fast support, but the long-term effects and truer desires behind those actions might be something to stay weary of.