As a youth, I tend to be on social media most of my time without even realizing it. I get hooked on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and many others. As I spent more and more time on my phone I realized how unhealthy it is, especially mentally.
I had heard about its effects on mental health but I didn’t perceive it until it happened to me and even friends. I started comparing myself to many social media influencers. Not only that, but I saw my friends getting influenced by these celebrities in the wrong way. I remember one of these celebrities did an advertisement for the consumption of vaping/marijuana use. It was being glamorized all over their social media page. My friend thought it was “cool” how their favorite social media influencer was advertising it on their post but they soon realized that this isn’t a healthy place to be in.
Social media is an easy space to gain influence from others in many ways. For that reason, I envision a healthy online platform for everyone, which means making sure these platforms have a policy that limits advertisements reaching people’s feeds, especially those who are underage. We need reviews to make sure these ads don’t come in our feeds and that these influencers advertise these ads to the right audience. For example, if an ad is being seen on someone’s feed it would have to be for the right age range.