College Writing EN 1280
December 23, 2017
Social Media Impacts of Body Image
Social media use continues to grow in leaps and bounds and plays a central role in today's
society by its influence on body image and the perception of beauty. Social media not only
exposes certain beauty standards and cultural ideals, but emerging research shows it may
contribute to the development of eating disorders, low self-esteem, and body dysmorphia.
Social media is used all around the world today. According to Alison Power in the article
“What is Social Media?” social media is a “mobile and web-based technology that creates highly
interactive platforms to enable people to communicate, share, collaborate, and modify
user-generated content, thereby providing a platform for real-time and virtual interactions” (896).
In other words, social media is a form of electronic communication through which users create
online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. These
websites and applications including blogs, social news networking sites, and social sharing sites
are now becoming an essential part of people's everyday lives. Social media has created a
platform for people to share information instantly and communicate with one another all around
the world. For example, Instagram, a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos
from your smartphone. Compared to other social networks, this app is relatively simple as it
focuses exclusively on sharing photos with your friends and family. Allows you to instantly
share and interact with other users and their content.
With the wide variety of users on social media, social networking sites have both
negative and positive aspects. Looking at other top social networking sites, including one of the
most successful, Facebook and Twitter combined have around 2.5 billion active users (Lee 351).
With such large audiences, social networking sites provide many opportunities to acquire and
share information, network, and connect with friends. For example, we can see that social media
is beneficial for several reasons. It allows a user to share instantly their location or a quick
message to a friend or family member. It also keeps them in touch and up-to-date with family
and friends. It has helped to make the world more connected. Aside from the benefits that social
media has, there are other effects that it can have on a user’s wellbeing. With the use of visual
platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat that allow people to earn approval for their
appearance and compare themselves to others, the most recent findings have found evidence
linking social media use to body dysmorphic disorder (Simmons). In other words, many young
and middle-aged people that use social media are comparing themselves to others on Instagram
or ads on Facebook that feature an ideal body image. Allowing themselves to be influenced by
what they should look like,...