By Mariah Clute
Has Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter made us care too much about what others think of us?
Grandview’s school psychologist Dr. Eric Zimmerman theorizes that our hypersensitivity to judgement is a product of social media.
“It’s an age thing,” said Zimmerman. “Kids are so narcissistic. They’re so involved in themselves, worried about how they look and who they’re with.”
When we look at pictures, namely selfies or other photos of people, we instantly form an opinion: if they’re hot, ugly, fat, skinny, etc.
“Because of social media,YouTube and Facebook, we’re all about ‘look at me, look at me, look at me.’”
We say that we don’t care about the opinions of others; online at least.
But, in reality, or the hallways, if someone were to call you ugly, you can’t hide behind a computer screen. The world is all too ready and waiting to see vulnerability from your facial expressions.
In the hallways they’re focused on each other.
“In the hallways they’re focused on each other,” said Zimmerman.
During passing period, the hallways are crammed with teenagers trying to get to their next class.
We squirm to avoid accidental eye contact by pretending to be on their phones.
“‘Oh they’re looking at me; they’re making a judgement about me.’ We’re trained to think that way,” said Zimmerman.
We are so absorbed with the act of being absorbed by our phone, that we don’t see the steel pillar; we walk into it with the painful reminder from our throbbing foreheads that walking and texting has little difference from texting and driving.
We go unnecessarily out of the way to prevent contact of a stranger. We twist and contort our bodies and gait into unnatural and bizarre movements that only occur if one manipulated a Barbie with the intention of snapping one of its limbs, that surprises not only passersby but ourselves.
No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we’re indifferent, and that we don’t care what others think, we do. But this isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s our biology.
“That’s just how the brain at that age operates.”