Taking the mask off: It’s time to stop being someone we aren’t
In today’s day and age, there’s a common problem that each teenger inevitably faces along the way through adolescence. We try to find out who we are and what we want to become, but this is becoming ever more difficult. Nowadays in the age of technology, we have thousands of people around that rub off on us one way or the other. We have all of these influences around us, most of whom are either non-beneficial or unattainable. These, along with the ever-present peer pressure, make us become someone that’s far away from who we really are, something that we should attempt to move on from. It seems like today the overwhelming question for teenagers is should they put on a fake persona for the sake of being accepted or live every day unfiltered at the risk of being scrutinized?
When we step outside the friendly confines of our home, we prepare a face to show to the rest of the world, one that shows we are living a great life and having everything going right for us. We are expected to always put on a persona and show that our lives our great. On social media, we all post pictures of us in our best moments; We show when we’re on vacation, when we’re at a bonfire with friends, or when we’re sitting in the suite level at a sporting event. However, we never show the negatives; the times when we get a bad grade, a family member is sick, or an argument between you and a friend. I know I do the same things
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Teenage years can be a challenging time for many individuals. Beginning at the age of 11 through 20, adolescence is defined as a “transitional period in the human life span, linking childhood and adulthood” (Santrock 2009). At this point, the person is no longer a child, but not yet an adult. This makes it a very critical and sensitive time frame for identity formation.
We’ve all know what it feels like: walking down the halls in middle school or high school while you feel like you’re being watched…analyzed…critiqued. It would almost seem like every person you passed would be silently judging you for what you’re wearing, how you applied your makeup, how you did in the last soccer game, or what they heard you did with Jonny. The passerby’s in the hallway would place you on the high-school-hierarchy-of-coolness scale based on superficial characteristics even before getting to know you. Adolescence is a time of learning and forming an identity but it’s also a time where you are constantly being watched and evaluated by your peers, sometimes even put down by physical or verbal means. Bullying has always been
Every teenager has a strong need to fit in and be part of a clique. It is hard to be an individual in high school; teens often feel that they need to conform to what their peers are doing to fit in no matter what cost. The elite group in Gossip Girl was popular based on their status in society and the designers they were wearing. In a typical high school the popular kids are the ones that are involved in sports and can afford to follow the new clothing trends. During adolescent years teens want to form an identity, Erikson’s identity crisis explains the struggle between identity achievement vs. identity confusion (Jafari, J. Identity.). Erikson believed that at each stage of life there is a particular issue or crisis, and during adolescents it is the struggle with identity (Jafari, J. Identity.). Dan and Jenny had a difficult time forming their own identities; they wanted so badly to fit in that they lost themselves along the way. I am sure there are many high school students who experience this crisis of identity achievement and confusion, when trying to find a clique to be a part of or simply trying to find
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) offers infinite connections and the ability to express oneself to the world. But are these connections and images of self-based upon fact or fiction? Through selective self-presentation, people often present the “ideal self” instead of the “actual self” in the online environment to achieve the feeling of positive self-esteem. In “The Way We Live Now: I Tweet, Therefore I Am”, Peggy Orenstein writes of how her Twitter posts reflected an idealized version of her life. Two studies support the hypothesis that such editing can have a positive effect on personal self-esteem. “Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem” by Amy Gonzales presents a study demonstrating
When scrolling through your Instagram feed or watching Snapchat stories of classmates and friends, it can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to not feel jealous or discouraged. These days, teens post nearly every aspect of their lives on social media. You see everything from what someone ate for breakfast, what workout they did that day, to what cute new outfit they have on for their fancy family dinner that night. A wide range of pressures arises with social media usage. Teens feel they always need to be available, many gain reassurance from likes and shares, and they are faced with the struggle of keeping up with the constant image of a “perfect life”. This is very dangerous because many teens are experiencing discomfort in their own skin when they compare themselves to others. It is difficult not to judge yourself and others when you are constantly viewing what your classmates, friends, and celebrities are doing. When interviewing a friend, Brayden Xilas who has been personally impacted by social media, she said “There has become an unspoken competition for teens to prove they have the best life through social media”. Friends and classmates are constantly trying to “one up” each other which causes a lot of stress for people to always be doing something worthy of sharing on social media.
Culture, ethnicity, family, sexuality, and society are all factors that can influence a person’s identity. A combination of all these elements usually result in the successful discovery of self-identity. Preadolescents and adolescents often find themselves in a constant battle attempting to find who they are or who they want to be. Adolescents are faced with questions like, What do you want to be when you grow up? What colleges are you looking into? What are your plans after high school?. In a normal process of growth, teens experiment with new activities in order to find their identity, but this is not the case for every teen. Some adolescents do not go through the normal process of experimentation for various reasons.
In modern society, many adolescent girls are becoming young adults under the pretenses of false selves. When dealing with issues such as divorce, sex and violence, drugs and violence, and mass media, girls are learning to create a false identity in order to live up to stereotypical standards of beauty, popularity, and success. The book Reviving Ophelia, by Mary Pipher, Ph.D., discusses the accounts of several different girl’s therapy sessions, conducted by Dr. Pipher, which deal with aggression, disorders, and insecurities that are causing mental, physical, or emotional issues within adolescent girls trying to overcome the systematic oppression placed upon them. Throughout the book, several different girls’ stories were relatable to my own personal experience of adolescents in relation to the unrealistic expectations that create social, physical, and mental issues for many adolescent girls. One of the main hardships I was able to relate to throughout the book that Pipher describes as creating depression for girls, is divorce (Pipher, Pg. 136).
It can be extremely difficult for a teenager to hide their identity and live in fear everyday when in other parts of the world other teenagers are having the time of their lives. There are also several
In a world where teens are exposed to all the messages shown in media, there is a developing self-conscious to change oneself for the people around them. Unquestionably, we have all taken a look at ourselves and thought about changing something. Wanting to gain popularity and likeability, just the fear of being pointed out and being different somehow turns people away from being themselves. However, changing oneself must first be evaluated and thought through in order to have its benefits.
Have you ever had anything taken from you? Did it really mean anything to you? A teen activist is someone who would fight to get it back. Teen activists are people who speak up for what they believe in, they stand up for what they think is right. What I personally admire so much about them is that their biggest goal, is just to make the world a better place. To become a teen activist, you have to believe in something so strongly, something that you are so passionate about, and you have to bet willing to fight for it. Teen activists always have something they are fighting for. They want to change the world and make it better in some way. Although, they don’t just have a completely perfect life. They may encounter a problem along the way.
Teenage years are the time of a person’s life when they really start exploring their identity, who they are and who they want to be. During these years it can be hard trying to figure out who you are and where you belong, with the constant
The article talks about President Obama giving a speech about juveniles. He told the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia, “Don't just tag them as future criminals. Reach out to them as future citizens(Obama). You can't assume that all youth who are labeled as juveniles don't want to make a change for themselves. We have to look at them as citizens who can go and get a job or pursue a particular thing they have always wanted to do, such as a doctor or lawyer. Teenagers mindset work in a different way, so they wouldn't have to be treated as adults. Not everyone could follow through with the plan because once a teenager commit a crime; they are looked at as the bad guy. This is how someone could be labeled, but you can't always assumed that
Adolescence is defined as the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood typically beginning at age twelve and ending at age twenty. This stage for most adolescents is a complex time in which physical, cognitive and social development is at its peak. The balance between life as a child and the quest to transition into the independence of young adulthood presents many challenges within the demands of everyday life. Physical maturation, the pressure of temptation, the search of self, spirituality, academic success and evolving relationships are some of the many determents of adolescent identity development. The question of “who am I” in the process of discovering a sense of self is a vital part of adolescent identity formation.
The formation of a concrete sense of self is one of the milestones of adolescence. However, this task is anything but easy. The teenage years are full of turmoil and changes that can have a detrimental affect on a girl's sense of identity and
Recent research has documented how technology, and social networking sites (SNS; e.g., Facebook, Instagram) in particular, have given rise to a growing obsession with impression management and self-presentation online. Whether it’s searching for the perfect Instagram photo filter or carefully crafting a humblebrag Facebook status about a recent publication, users frequently engage in selective self-presentation strategies to portray an ‘ideal self’ through social media (Chou & Edge, 2012; Manago, Graham, Greenfield, & Salimkhan, 2008). In turn, we seek out social approval and positive feedback in the form of comments and likes.