Individualism is under attack. The enemy is none other than the Devil himself, and social media is the enemy’s weapon of choice.
Social media influencer Holly Cockerill posted a video on TikTok of a montage of photographs, Unilad reported. The photographs were before and after shots of Cockerill that were posted to show how online pictures can easily be edited to look dramatically different.
According to Unilad, Cockerill said, “I’m guilty of always scrolling through Instagram and seeing ‘perfect’ selfies with the perfect life, and it made me feel so bad about myself. I’d constantly compare myself to these fake images.”
“I then started seeing accounts showing celebrities and popular influencers on social media versus real life, and I couldn’t believe the difference.”
Cockerill’s video proved as much. Some of the transformations were so dramatic, they didn’t look like the same person. In some photos, Cockerill’s hair appears to be a different color. In others, her face appears to be a different shape. Many of the “after” shots are airbrushed, with Cockerill appearing to have a full face of makeup — the original photo was makeup free.
“Proof that social media is fake,” Cockerill commented on the video.
“Young people look up to influencers and want to be like them or look like them,” Cockerill continued, Unilad reported. “And if those influencers are using an app that changes everything about themselves, then it’s making normal people question why they don’t look good enough.”
Young people indeed.
Destroying the individual requires undermining identity. Stripped of a stable identity, a person is reduced to appealing to others in the hopes of finding themselves. Our youth are especially vulnerable because the seed of individuality planted within them at birth has not had enough time to take root.
With identity stability disrupted before it can take root, young people are willing to accept all kinds of nonsense because they are desperate to know who they are.
On the other hand, the percentage of traditionalists, baby boomers, and Generation X adults has remained the same, according to The Hill.
What accounts for the sharp increase? The best bet is identity confusion.
There’s more. The number of young people who identify as transgender has nearly doubled in recent years, according to a report by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. The percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the U.S. has remained steady over time. Nearly one in five people who identify as transgender are ages 13-17.
The young are raised to believe that they can be anything they want. But being a kid today is a far cry from when I was growing up and “you can be anything you want” meant that with hard work one can go as far as reality will take them. It didn’t mean that feeling like a professional athlete or a mathematical genius automatically made you one.
Today, a boy is taught he can be a girl if he feels like a girl. A girl can be a boy if she feels that way. But feelings change over time, especially with the onslaught of hormones in adolescence. Reality remains the same. If a mathematical genius tries to play professional football — unless they are blessed both physically and mentally — they will fail.
Humans navigate reality, they can’t create it.
What’s this got to do with social media? Forty-six percent of teens say they use the internet almost constantly, according to Pew Research. You can bet your bottom dollar that they are on social media the majority of “constantly.”
Cockerill showed that a lot of social media is flat-out fake. People spend an enormous amount of time tending to internet identities that have little to nothing to do with reality. What might this do to a young person’s mind?
It might just make them want to look like or be somebody they are not because the person they want to emulate on social media does not exist in reality.
“You actually really help me to remind myself not to compare how I look to those online. Thank you, sometimes I really need it,” one person commented on the video.
People should be focusing on who they really are, like the above user pointed out. But they don’t have to do it alone.
Because of this, each and every individual is unique. No two people — not even identical twins — are the same. Identical twins have different experiences though their genetic structure is identical. You know this if you have been around them. There are no identical human beings.
This is why C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal.”
It is why all children should know Matthew 10: 30-31: “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Don’t be afraid of reality. Be afraid of those who would strip you of your uniqueness within that reality. Fear the Devil that would destroy you.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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