2018 – 7th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Ava Marsden, Missouri.

The dictionary defines deceit as: “the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.” Deceit has more power.

One factor that makes deceit so powerful is that our society is formed around social media. We know social media—Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest. They seem pretty innocent. “They’re just some ways to contact friends,” “They are just for sharing pictures.” This is true. We think of social media as a way to put some pictures online…but then there is deceit added in. Instagram models such as Belle Lucia, Alexis Ren, and Eva Gutowski all have these picture-perfect lives. Nice houses, lots of money, followers—anything you think of they most likely have. And on top of all that they have perfect faces, personalities, bodies. These women are role models for millions and millions of young teenagers. These teenagers have been deceived in believing that this is all how the models lives really are, that this is how they should look, they should have X amount of money, they need to live in Y location. Many of these models also have “perfect” pictures. Without realizing it, they have filters on filters on photoshopped on their images. This deceit makes teenagers lose self esteem and confidence. Now, this is not only on Instagram, this is on Facebook too; not only teenagers, but adults are affected by this deceit. They open Facebook on their phones. They start looking into their feed and person A is going there and person B bought that. Soon enough the hole deepens and these people are now affected—maybe by jealousy, by envy. Now you may be thinking, “well Ava, this is just on Instagram and Facebook—that’s it.” However as you probably expected, I am going to say that is wrong. Other sites such as youtube have this deception issue too. People watch these youtube videos and see things done for attention, and views. Clickbait is a major part of that. Clickbait as where youtubers exaggerate what really happened in the video, make it on the cover of the video and make it also the title. Some examples being: “CRAZY PRANK ON MY BROTHER ‘emotional’ or 24 HOUR INSANE TRAMPLINE PARK CHALLENGE” and “Exposing Selena Gomez!!” when in fact the crazy prank video was not emotional, the trampoline park was not actually overnight they faked it, and no one was “exposing” a Selena Gomez. This type of deceit causes people to click these videos and spend hours and hours on them. It all leads them to these pages full of other people’s deceptions, leading to insecurity and low self esteem because of someone else’s Youtube channel appearing so much more exciting than their own.

In conclusion, deceit is fundamental making you feel “not quite.” This deception gets you to buy, say, join, etc. even if it is not in your best interest to do so. Deceit is more effective than truth.




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