As we all know, social media is incredibly influential in molding the habits and behaviors of its users. How could it not be, when US users alone access social media sites on an average of 2.7 hours a day. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are our modern forms of communicating a version of ourselves to the world and it has never been more important to be aware of the image you project in that created cyberspace, a space where images are received instantaneously and endure in the minds of viewers.
What I want to focus on in this admittedly large topic of discussion is specifically the influence of Instagram’s users on female ambition. For some women, Instagram has totally augmented a successful pursuit of independence in the business world, particularly in ventures that cater to women. But in a more cynical view of things, it appears that, for other women, it has created a culture of excusing traditional routes to success, such as the acquisition of a formal education. I’m not saying that education equates financial success, but I’m certain that it improves your chances. Moreover, it appears that popularity on social media platforms is subconsciously mistaken for success in life overall.
We can consider for example Instagram’s makeup artist icons who not only have their own studios but have launched their own brands and have therefore amassed a huge following of inspired makeup gurus. As a result, a whole industry has developed on Instagram that is devoted to the physical appearance of women, which starts from the type and amount of makeup, then involves the hairstyles and clothing styles to go along with it. There’s nothing wrong with this celebration of being a woman and embracing a femininity to show the world but I feel as though it is forgotten that this is not the only way to celebrate being a woman. What I mean is that the physical achievements/qualities of women are valued much more on social media than their intellectual achievements/qualities are. Essentially, I fear that the attention given to physical attributes on social media is supporting the development of a generation focused on superficial qualities rather than interior ones.
In light of witnessing these developments on such influential platforms I can’t help but feel as though future generations of women would in some ways be reverting to what now seem like ancient notions of recognition, namely that our capacity to alter anything beyond our own bodies is unlikely, which proves detrimental to our ambitions to succeed in any other way.