The power of likes through the eyes of Greek SIC's Youth Panel
Teenagers and adults are constantly bombarded with images depicting "perfect" bodies, faces, products and relationships, making them feel inadequate and urging them to have similar lifestyles.
This influence is amplified on teenagers, who are building their own identities, having to face existential questionns about who they are, what they want, what their goal is in life, how they are perceived by others, and so on. Members of the Greek Safer Internet Centre's Youth Panel share their views and invite us to rethink the role that social networks and influencers play in our lives.
Aris, aged 15, wonders whether the young people from this generation are enslaved spiritually, becoming inactive, and whether they mistakenly believe they are revolting simply because they imitate individuals with great influence and luxurious lifestyles online. He invites his peers to become the first influencers to highlight a teenager's real lifestyle and talk openly about their anxieties, insecurities, fears, but also about their dreams, goals, and desires.
Maria, aged 19, said that "on social media we always see the perfect body, the perfect outfit, the perfect conditions, which often do not reflect the real lives of these people. We need to filter what we see everyday and above all have confidence in ourselves", while 16-year-old Marina added "so, let's pause and consider how much time we spend everyday on social networks, instead of investing in real friendships, human relationships and creative activities".
Lina, aged 16, concluded that "we need to realise that the likes we get or the likes we don't get come from people who don't really know us and who judge us by a snapshot of our lives. And if we are unable to stay detached and we are anxious about this whole process, it's not bad to choose to abstain or limit our engagement with social media. That's a healthy way to resist".
You can read all the opinions of the Greek Youth Panel about body shame and influencers on the website of the Greek SIC.
Find out more information about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.
- Type: Youth
- Author:Greek Safer Internet Centre