Liljedahl and England discuss how social media impacts their authenticity and risk-taking


Clara McKoy

EXPECTING INAUTHENTICITY. England and Liljedhal argue that social media users must understand the inauthentic nature of the apps.

McKoy: Hi, I’m Clara McKoy and today I’ll be talking to senior Sila Liljedahl and freshman James England about how social media impacts authenticity and risk-taking.

Liljedahl: I’m Sila, I’m a senior, and my pronouns are she/her.

England: Hi, my name is James, I’m in ninth grade, I use he/him pronouns.

Liljedahl: I use Instagram and TikTok, mostly. I deleted Snapchat a long time ago. And, I spend a lot of time on both of them. I wish I didn’t spend as much time as I did, but I do. They’re kind of like a distraction, kind of like scrolling through TikTok and like scrolling through Instagram. I use them a lot. I post on them too.

England: I use social media a lot. I use TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram. I don’t really post a lot but I go on them at least five times a day.

McKoy: Do you ever feel self-conscious when posting on social media, especially when posting about hobbies, clubs, sports or other activities that you’re involved in?

Liljedahl: Not really, I definitely have a filter on social media that’s different than real life, I think most people do. But I think the people that interact most with what I post … I feel safe with and comfortable with, so I don’t really feel super judged or embarrassed by what I post. I have private accounts and the people who follow my TikTok are just my friends. So, I just feel like it’s a, I don’t know, like a space that I can be myself in.

England: Not really, but at the same time, I keep my social media private. So it’s all people I know and feel comfortable around.

McKoy: Have you ever not posted a picture because you thought people would think about you in a certain way based on the picture or that the picture was weird or not what you wanted to present?

Liljedahl: Definitely, yeah.

McKoy: Tell me more about that.

Liljedahl: I guess I just filter what I post, just based on what I feel like other people will think. Not always, but that’s always in the back of my mind. I think it’s in the back of most people’s minds when you’re posting something that’s going out to like 500, 600, 700 people. Like, “what are people gonna think,” you know? So, that’s definitely a thought that crosses my mind.

England: Sometimes, but I get that a lot because people always have different ideas about what you do. I see that Instagram can make a lot of people—or, not just Instagram but—social media can make people self-conscious about themself because some people post about their body, and maybe somebody feels insecure about that, so I can see that.
McKoy: How authentic do you think your social media presence is?

Liljedahl: I feel like it’s pretty authentic to who I am, but I mean, it’s social media, it’s Instagram. So, I’m putting a version of myself out there that I want to see, and it’s carefully curated. As much as I want to say it’s not, it is.

England: I don’t really post a lot but when I do, it’s some of the trends, so it’s not really of me—well I guess it is—but not really.

McKoy: And why do you choose not to post very much?

England: I don’t know. It’s just, I don’t really have a lot of ideas. Sometimes it may be… I think someone will think a certain way. Others, it’s like, maybe I don’t like it, or something like that. It’s really hard because some people who are authentic, they don’t really get as much views, or they’re not seen as much as other people.

McKoy: How much does comparison play a role in your social media usage?

Liljedahl: Not a lot. I don’t think—I guess in the sense of comparing what I post to other people—I guess I follow trends, like on TikTok and on Instagram, and whatever other social medias I use, but I don’t think I’m super focused on comparing what I post to other people.

England: People post stuff, you may not think it, and then if you look, even comments are about it. People are like, “oh, I wish I looked like you,” or something like that. People post stuff like, “you wish you looked like me” or something like that, so I think it’s kind of impossible.

McKoy: Do you ever shy away from posting about activities or experiences because they’d be considered weird or uncool by other people your age or because social media tells you it’s weird or uncool?

Liljedahl: Not that I can think of, but I probably have in the past.

McKoy: Do you think social media impacts the risks that you take or the activities that you do or don’t try?

Liljedahl: Probably. I have a lot of TikTok drafts that I would never post.

McKoy: Why not?

Liljedahl: Because they’re, I don’t know … they’re things that I wouldn’t want to share—not like that—but they’re too weird or too random, I guess.

England: Not really, because if you like to do something, you shouldn’t let somebody else tell you it’s uncool.

McKoy: And how do you navigate that?

England: Well if it’s uncool but I still like it, then I just won’t pay any mind to that. But if they say it’s cool but I don’t really like it, I don’t think I’ll join in. I’ll just, I don’t know, stray away from it.

McKoy: How do you think social media impacts your willingness to take risks or try new things?

England: It impacts [it] a little bit because on social media, a lot of people, if they post a mistake or they do something wrong, people take it and run with it and they’ll talk a lot of—not hate—but they’ll mock them for it or something like that.

McKoy: Again, this is Clara McKoy. Thanks for listening to this episode, check out our other podcast episodes under the podcast section of RubicOnline.

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