Our Generation’s Ability to “Find Themselves”

Social Media’s Fast Changing Fads


Gabrielle Williams

Screenshot of Pinterest Boards.

Gabrielle Williams, Staff Reporter

I recently figured out why I cut my hair short every year despite always wanting long hair. I have a goal of where I want my hair to grow, and I always cut it off right before I reach that goal. I think I do this so I can have something to look forward to. Honestly, I have no idea how I will feel once I get the long hair I’ve always wanted, so instead I keep cutting it with the intention of “one day having long hair”. 


Everyone has some idea of what kind of person they want to appear to be, especially those of us on social media. Whether it’s a person’s account on TikTok, a collection of images on a Pinterest board, or a celebrity’s Instagram feed; we all have a certain “aesthetic” we want to achieve. We usually spend our teenage years trying to reach this “aesthetic” because that is the time period where we are most sensitive to the influence of others. 


The question is, what do you do when you become your ideal self? What happens when you own everything on your Pinterest boards, you dress the same as that person on TikTok you idolize, and your feed starts to look like your favorite celebrity’s feed. Where do you go from there?


In the same way that athletes beat their record and set a new one, are we supposed to find something new to work towards? Or do we just remain in our newly found “aesthetic”? Honestly, there is no clear answer to what we are supposed to do. This is mostly due to the fact that our generation faces the issue of “finding themselves” more often than any other generation before. A new vibe, person, or idea pops up nearly every week on social media. Although this gives teenagers more ideas of how they can grow and change, it also causes more confusion when trying to “find yourself” in your most vulnerable years. 


So how can we combat this? The most simple and obvious way is to get off of social media to limit the amount of confusing influence you may experience. But, the option of getting off of social media seems too extreme to most people. Perhaps the best way is to filter out your goals and ideas. This is possible by seeing a person, image, or feed on social media and asking yourself if it’s trendy. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if it’s a trend that will become timeless, or if it’s just a fad that will disappear in a few months. 


Following constant trends can give you the same feeling of cutting your hair before you reach your dream length. This is for the people who love the chase of a goal more than actually reaching the goal. But in truth, maybe it’s best to let yourself settle down with one goal, a timeless goal. This can limit other issues such as overconsumption. Moral of the story, maybe it would be best for me to finally grow my hair out, regardless of my fear of finally reaching a goal and looking for the next one.