Social Media And Body Image Essay

Social media is all around us. Social media has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Social media affects almost every person in one way or another, whether you are conscious of it or not. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have millions upon millions of users worldwide. Social Media has become the go-to place for people to post whatever they want.

Social media is a place where you can connect with friends, share links, watch videos, and much more. Social Media has become so popular that Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012, and Twitter acquired Periscope in February 2015 (Kowitt). Social media has changed the world for better or worse. Social media helps victims find missing family members like when Phil Collins set up #FindTarbell after losing touch with his daughter on vacation in Thailand (Huffington Post).

Social media also helped create an entire community within online groups like “This Is Thin Privilege” which started as a joke but ended up sparking conversations about body image (Thin Privilege Club). Social media also affects us in a negative way. Social media has a darker side, a much more toxic side. Social media is full of trolls and cyberbullies ready to pounce on anyone they believe is not good enough the way they are (Fox News).

Social media also sets unrealistic standards for people which can lead to mental issues among teens such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders (Cherry). Social media affects your physical well-being too. Social Media has been linked to poor body image in women and girls, especially after looking at pictures on Instagram or Facebook that have been Photoshopped to perfection (Huffington Post). Social media’s negative effects on body image can be seen when scrolling through accounts like “thinspiration” or “fitspiration”.

Social media has even been linked to increasing rates of anorexia and bulimia (LeBlanc). Social media also has a negative effect on the brain when it comes to self-esteem. Social media can negatively affect self-esteem when people make comparisons between themselves and other accounts like models, fitness gurus, and even celebrities (Huffington Post). Social Media affects many people in many different ways. Social media is something we all love but we must take care not to let it hurt us in ways that we cannot change.

More than half of Social Media users are more likely to feel depressed after using Social Media. Social Media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter give people the ability to share things with one another in an easier way. Anyone can make their life appear picture perfect on Social Media but this is something that many struggle with because these images aren’t real. People tend to curate their lives on Social Media by showing only positive parts about themselves which can lead others into thinking that everyone else has perfect lives except them.

This leads Social Media users into depression because they begin comparing their own daily activities to what they see on Social Media which leaves them feeling inadequate or inferior compared to others [1]. Social Networking sites have also been linked with negative body image. Social Networking sites have a large amount of pictures and videos which can be damaging to Social Media users because they’re exposed to many different images all day, everyday.

Studies have shown that Social Networking causes people to think about their own bodies based off what they see on Social Media [2]. Social Networking has also been linked with depression as well as other psychological disorders such as anxiety and eating disorders. Social media’s negative effects can be seen in various ways such as cyber bullying, the pressure to look good online, low self-esteem and body image issues [3]. The outcomes aren’t only Social Media users experience these negative effects but people around them feel it too.

Many teenagers use Social Networks like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to post up pictures of themselves in hopes to impress their friends or attract potential love interests. Social Media has also been linked with low self-esteem, anxiety and depression amongst teenagers which is why Social Networking isn’t always a good thing [4]. Social Networking is something that everyone knows about but doesn’t always have the best effects on people.

Social Networks are popular because they help people connect with one another conveniently but Social Networks can become problematic if used too much or for the wrong reasons. Social Networking sites were created as a way to socialize with other people who are part of your life without physically being there, however it becomes unhealthy when Social Networking sites are by users trying to reach out for help or to mask what they’re truly feeling.

Social Networks can be used as a way to make other people like you, to show off your style but Social Networking should always be used in moderation because Social Media can have negative effects on your mind and body if it is used too much [5]. The Internet has created an easy way to stay connected with others no matter where you are. Social Networking sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook allow people to share their lives with friends and family without physically having them there which has been linked with positive outcomes such as increased self-esteem and social support from friends [6].

Social media has cast a dark shadow over the realm of teen relationships, as it allows people to anonymously say cruel and hurtful things about others as they please. Social media can also affect ones body image in negative ways. Images posted on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook, often times only showing the perfect side of life, can cause viewers to feel insecure about themselves and even impact their choice of clothing. Social media’s effects on body image and self-esteem is problematic and must be addressed with care. Instagram is an online photo sharing application that was launched back in October 2010.

Its sole purpose is to allow users to take pictures, filters for stylization purposes, and post them online. Social media sites such as Instagram have been linked to body image issues, especially among teenage girls. The International Journal of Eating Disorders states that “a growing body of research has implicated social networking sites in a rising epidemic of eating disorders and negative dietary behaviors among men and women of a variety of ages”(International Journal 1). Social media not only has an effect on teenagers, but adults as well.

Social media can be a platform for cyberbullying, which is defined by the Tech Encyclopedia as “the use of electronic communication to bully someone deliberately, usually anonymously” (qtd. In Cyberbullying). Google+ was launched in 2011 as an attempt to overtake Facebook as the leading social network site. Social media sites such as Google+ have been found to have a link with eating disorders, according to Body Image in Social Media. Social networking can be beneficial for people that suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, but it also has a negative impact on teenagers and young adults in general.

Social media posts can provide an outlet for cyberbullying; however if precautions are taken through privacy settings, this problem can be alleviated. Social media website Facebook was launched back in February 2004 and continues to be one of the top social network websites used worldwide (Facts & Figures). Social media such as Facebook has been linked to issues such as body image and self-esteem. A 2013 study conducted by Dr. Amy and her colleagues states that “eating disorder risk was significantly greater among girls and boys who posted ‘selfies’ and edited their photos more often” (Body Image Social Media).

Social media can allow people to anonymously harass others, which has become a rising problem. Cyberbulling is the use of electronic communication to bully someone deliberately, usually anonymously. Social media such as Facebook allows users to post pictures about themselves and share them widely with others. Social media websites are problematic in that they can promote negative body image through posting pictures of oneself that are Photoshopped or altered using photo-editing software, according to Body Image Social Media.

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