How Your Self-Presentation on Social Media Affects Your Life

Social Media Awareness Could Better Your Life In Ways You Didn’t Expect

By Beren Sabuncu

Social media affects our lives, this is simply true. We have created a virtual reality as a representation of our personality and we interact with others online as if it’s real life. It has its advantages and disadvantages.

We, get a little too self-absorbed; thinking the world revolves around us; what we think and the way we look.

We’ve gotten detached from interpersonal relationships.

Sure, we keep in touch with childhood friends online, but we’ve developed this fake sense of connectivity. We’ve created a web of acquaintances only to find out that we have no more than 20 genuine friends.

These are not the only ways social media has affected us, however.  

The virtual reality we create directly affects our life because we’re able to create an online persona that is slightly or substantially different from our real-life persona.

It is an extended version of ourselves and we always try to measure up to it.

This wouldn’t be such a big problem, except putting our best foot forward subconsciously makes us think that we’re only ‘worthy’ when we’re at our best.

We, as a society, only upload pictures when we’re at our ideal persona.

These pictures don’t necessarily have to be physically appealing either; it could be us making ugly faces, so long as it projects the ideal image of ourselves.

The ‘ideal you’ could be someone that doesn’t care, is goofy, someone that is ‘out there’, that ‘slays’ or someone that is very accomplished.

We could resume our regular lives, yet our social media – the likes and the comments – will always make us feel like we’re being scrutinized.

This has the potential to create stress and self-image problems.

The way we present ourselves on social media affects the way we see ourselves. Even our job prospects can be affected by it.

In an article by Chris Forman on “How An Online Reputation Can Hurt Your Job Hunt” it is mentioned that “90% of executive recruiters say they conduct online research of potential candidates, according to ExecuNet.

Up to 70% of employers who have used LinkedIn say they’ve chosen not to hire a person based on what they’ve found out about them online.”  

Along with our résumés, our personalities (whether it be online or offline) is what they hire us for. Isn’t that crazy to grasp?

We won’t get the jobs we’ve worked hard for just because we uploaded party pictures or somewhat unprofessional looking pictures.

The way we present ourselves on social media affects our future careers.

How people treat us is slightly different depending on our online personas as well.

Our specifically tailored online-persona and the beliefs we express online might change the way people act around us and speak to us.

A simple example would be two people who are extreme fans of two opposing teams.

These people, if they were to discuss it in person, would perhaps get into a light argument. While online, one lacks inhibition,  which can lead to a heated argument.  

People also have the potential to treat someone differently if they were to have a thousand likes on their picture instead of a couple.

Everyone can say that they don’t necessarily care but subconsciously, that number of likes that ultimately doesn’t matter registers if the person is ‘hip’ or not.

The way we present ourselves on social media also affects our relationships.

How can we avoid the bad and access the good while using social media?

How can we present ourselves in such a way that would positively enhance our online experience? Simple:

We just have be aware of who we are, without basing it on our online presence.

We have to present ourselves accurately, albeit not fully.

If we don’t want to be liable for our account, we can create an alias.

Social media literacy goes a long way with Generation Y and being aware of its effects goes even longer.

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