Final Paper Summary – Leah Montgomery

The ways in which technology and social media have infiltrated our lives can be distinguished as a positive and negative aspect of our individual lives. But as a collective whole, technology allows us to conquer and achieve things that we never thought were possible, such as creating mass followings on political movements like the MeToo and Black Lives Matter Movement. As individuals, we are living through a technology epidemic, in which we have succumbed to the addictive behavior that is technology on multiple devices and on platforms where we are constantly trying to get others to perceive ourselves as more and better than what we actually are. The age of self-presentation and preservation has spiraled on these apps, affecting certain groups more than others, and further creating a detrimental shift in our lives as it pertains to mental health. We are constantly faced with standards that are impossible to reach, and just want the validation and attention to make us feel as though these standards are possible. But they aren’t, and social media tricks us everyday into believing that if we focus on ourselves and the way we are perceived by others enough, then it will be enough to make a person happy. These platforms have ingrained themselves in our brains, and even our bodies as we use them to influence even the most minuscule everyday tasks. Collectively, we can do so much for the world and society as a whole, such as being able to bring people and movements together to create change. But as an individual, technology has become critical to the well-being of certain groups, specifically teenage girls. The strong correlation between adolescent girls who focus on self-presentation on social media platforms and the increased risk of depression, anxiety, and overall quality of life is something that should be discussed and talked about. As cited in this paper, there have been portrayals of this behavior and its correlation noted in films and television shows such as Black Mirror and The Social Dilemma. These films discuss and analyze the ways in which technology and the way that we care about how we are perceived through technology can be detrimental for our mental health and stability. Technology has changed the way we live as an individual, has affected different generational groups, some more than others, but can be a positive influence on society as a whole. It’s the way that we handle the technology epidemic that is the most critical aspect of stability across the globe, whether it be mentally, physically, emotionally and so much more. It has the power to make or break us in more ways than one.

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