Teen Voices: Summer Struggles of Social Media PLUS Introducing Isabella
Isabella Dussias is a composer of classical and contemporary music. She writes, produces and sings her own original songs, which often reflect on issues that are important to today's youth. She performed her first original piano solo at Kids Helping Kids with Cancer at age 11, and she has performed original classical piano works at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and in Vienna, Austria. Her original orchestral works have been performed locally, as well as by the Orlando Symphony Orchestra in the Walt Disney Theatre. Dussias also enjoys scoring music for film. She has been a finalist in the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Competition for the last three years, as well as been involved in local contemporary music competitions. She is most passionate about writing music with messages that reflect the issues of today’s society. Look for her music on Apple Music, Spotify and at IsabellaDussias.com.
Teen Voices: Summer Struggles of Social Media by Isabella Dussias
Summer is here, and so are all the exciting adventures that come with it. Along with having beach days and attending concerts, teens are highly active on social media during the summer months. Posting a picture of the sunset or a video of Fourth of July fireworks is surprisingly important to capturing the essence of summer in a teen’s eyes. However, social media can negatively affect teens that aren’t involved in the fun activities they view on their friends’ accounts. When interviewing a few of my peers, we came to the conclusion that social media is a great tool to connect with friends over summer vacation, but also can be detrimental to our confidence.
Let’s talk about Instagram. For those that are unaware, Instagram is a popular social media site that allows users to post pictures that their followers can view and comment on. When asking a friend of mine about how Instagram has affected her, she explained that she often finds herself comparing her lifestyle and physical appearance to those of celebrities and models that are active on the site. She also mentioned that during the summer she finds herself doing this more often because of the types of posts that surface during these months. Pictures that feature celebrities’ perfect bikini bodies and expensive vacations can make teens feel the pressure to have those things as well. From a male perspective, a friend of mine explained to me that he feels he can only post certain types of pictures on Instagram that showcase his talents and physique, keeping “sappy posts” or anything too “emotional” to a minimum. This just shows how prevalent toxic masculinity is on social media. Although Instagram can be a unique tool to connect with people of the same generation, teens have to be careful of how seriously they take the content on the site.
VSCO is another social media site that is similar to Instagram, but the majority of the users on this app are females, and the content is more geared toward photography. When ask how VSCO has impacted her confidence, my friend explained that it makes her feel insecure about being single. A lot of posts on VSCO are related to couples, whether it’s a screenshot of their text messages, or pictures of their romantic dates. There’s nothing wrong with these posts, but when girls start questioning their own lifestyles and begin to alter themselves to be deemed as more appealing, a problem arises.
Is there a set answer to help solve these social media-inspired confidence issues teens face? No. But there are definitely ways we can help prevent them. The first step is realizing that on social media, people put their best foot forward. They don’t post the pictures that are unflattering. They don’t talk about their struggles, but only emphasize their achievements. For all you know, your favorite celebrity’s smile in that picture with a million likes is completely fake. Take a step back and sign out of your account for a little bit. The key to confidence is focusing on your assets and being the best version of yourself.
Isabella Dussias is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter/composer from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about issues that are important to today’s youth, and she believes music is an important outlet to connect people and share messages through the creativity of lyric and melody. For more information, visit IsabellaDussias.com. July 2019