Social Media: Filtering out the negative, in search for positive role models

Photoshop, FaceTune, AirBrush. Blend that out. Add that filter. Make that thinner. I need to look like her.

As the media expands and viewing statistics sky rocket, it is pivotal that society, especially the youth, is aware of positive role models. In today’s society, youth are affected by the overwhelming numbers of negative role models that are portrayed in this media crazed world. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Population Clock, there are approximately 24.6 million Australians. Facebook's recent data (September 2017) exhibits that there is now a staggering 15 million active Australians on Facebook alone.

Who do you look up to? Are they obsessed with how many likes they receive on their Instagram posts? Is their follower count multiplying by the minute? Having positive role models in your life is crucial to help shape how you behave in situations, relationships, or when making difficult decisions. But in this day and age, it is so difficult to find those positive role models as we are constantly exposed to the negative energy due to the comparison caused by the outskirts of the media.

In today's 24/7 media environment, in which the youth may be spending more time on media platforms than they are with their parents, choosing positive role models is more quintessential than ever.

A young, influential role model to youth is Yara Shahidi. This 16-year-old Iranian-American star of the hit sitcom Black-ish, speaks out for representation and diversity in Hollywood and the media. She also serves as a role model for young girls and boys who feel the pressure to alter their appearance and personality for the sake of others.

The media has been swamped by negative influences, which are constantly affecting the mindsets of today’s youth. From promoting poor health choices, such as drugs and alcohol abuse, to making others feel less than important, these “role models” are creating a toxic media environment for present and future generations.

It is essential that society, especially the youth, can recognise the difference between positive and negative role models in the media. Knowing the difference can be vital in developing character as people will have positive influences in their lives. A positive role model is not only someone who wishes to have the most liked photo on their Instagram, but someone who stands for what they believe in and influences people to take the right path.

“A role model can teach you to love and respect yourself” – Tionne Watkins.

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