Social media users garner a following
The yearning for popularity and acceptance may have moved from actuality to virtual reality.
With a simple click of the “Share” button on Instagram, senior Lillian Lachman can share a photo with her 7,094 followers. Of that number, about 700 of them like her pictures.
Numerous unknown users follow Lachman because of her standing as a model and actress.
“I do not know all of my followers,” Lachman said. “I am considering deleting my account and starting a professional account, more of a portfolio rather than photos of me, my sister and friends.”
Public accounts like Lachman’s are viewable to all Instagram users and can therefore be liked by anyone.
“I know that my pictures have been shared with the other side of the world and that’s how I have gotten a lot of my followers,” Lachman said. “My account is public because I am trying showcase myself and get into the industry business as a career.”
SHHS Senior Sam Syufy, who is approaching 10,000 followers on Instagram, says photography is his passion and sees the followers as a bonus.
“I think people find the social media attention appealing because people seek lots of followers and upload lots of pictures for self-validation,” senior Sam Syufy said. “If you get a lot of compliments or comments, people get kind of a high off of it.
Lachman and Syufy use their accounts to showcase the hobbies they most enjoy and the professions they want to pursue.
“Taking pictures is really fun but it is also kind of stressful because there’s all this stigma and people judge me for what I do and the amount of followers I have,” Syufy said. “People say, ‘He’s so full of himself’ but they just don’t understand what I do.”
The social media anxiety teens endure can include stressing over how many likes they receive on a given photo and if someone will follow them back.
Syufy, who captures landscapes and portraits, says he posts photos because he loves what he does and is not trying to boost his ego through the amount of likes and followers he has.
“I do not have to post photos,” Syufy said. “My hobby can sometimes be negated through all the attention I receive on social media and at school.”