Being constantly exposed to social media can be very stressful and exhausting. It applies to teenagers in particular, since social media is a huge part of their lives, ever since they can remember. Exchanging photos, chatting with friends, posting different stuff sure is fun, but can become difficult to handle. Why? The answer is easy: people judge you based on your online activities. Therefore, you have to put a lot of effort to maintain that image of yourself, the one you want everybody to see. That, unfortunately, means a lot of faking. Saying what you don’t mean, following people you don’t care about, taking hundreds of selfies before finally choosing that one which deserves to be uploaded (i.e., is likely to have most likes,) forming an opinion of yourself based on how others view you on social media. While, the most parents dream of encouraging their children to read booksinstead of social media comments, the reality is different.
Teenagers Are Getting Tired of the Expectations
Today’s kids feel pressured by social networks. Since they can’t quit and delete their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps (because to them that would equal being dead), they have found new ways to express how they feel. Hint: no, it’s not therapy, and no – it’s not quitting social media altogether. It’s the opposite: installing more apps and more social networks but those that “allow” them to be themselves. Anonymous platformshave become increasingly popular, giving people, mostly teenagers, the opportunity to say what they mean and share their feelings without being exposed. Other ways of keeping secrets safe have also appeared. Kids have found ways to secretly interact amongst themselves online, without the involvement of parents, teachers, bullies, or snitches.
Using Fake Tools to Be More Real
One handy app that helps teenagers hide pictures, videos and other files from people who like to look through their phones is Calculator%. At first glance, it seems like a regular calculator app. Its primary use is to password-protect files. To unlock secret folders that exist nowhere else on the phone, you have to type a code. The app is available on both app store and play store and has recently raised some adult’s eyebrows. It also has been removed from someapp stores.
Another way of sharing files with only chosen people is fake Instagram profiles, a so-called Finstagram, or Finsta. Mostly, girls are those who have these profiles created, and they use them for sharing ugly selfies, private jokes, pictures of outfits they are not feeling so confident about, and similar stuff. The Finsta owner alerts those who she wishes to share her secrets with by following them from a Finsta account and then accepting them when they follow back.
A bunch of anonymous chat apps is becoming popular among young adults as well, one of the best known so far being Yik Yak. Based on your location, the app shows you short status posts from more recent to oldest. You can post, downvote or upvote existing anonymous posts, or read comments and comment yourself, anonymously. The trouble had started when posts about bomb threats led to canceling classes in schools or putting entire buildings under lockdown. As a result, some campuses have entirely banned Yik Yak.
All in All, Online Presence Seems Inevitable
In the end, your online presence will cost you. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable since they care about other people’s opinions more than the grownups do – hence, a more anonymous approach to expressing themselves on social media. While quitting social networks might be the best solution, it seems that hidden networks will have to do instead. If you are looking to bring a set of healthier solutions to your family every day, try Progressive Rising Phoenix– we’ve got some great ideas!