Studies Of Social Media And Its Effects On Adolescent’s Body Image

1388 words - 6 pages

Throughout the years, technology has evolved into something people cannot live without. Mixed in with all of the improvements, social media has become a major asset in the lives of people. Social media can include websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but can also include video games and magazines. However, social media is not always genuine. In the mindset of adolescents, these medias help to create unrealistic ideas of who they are and who they should be. As if going through puberty isn’t difficult enough, teenagers are raised to face these phony thoughts everyday. One of the top problems that boys and girls experience is the way they view their body; commonly referred to as “body image.” Our media-saturated world provides many teens with low self-esteem, eating disorders, and overall dissatisfaction with one’s body. With the help of parents, adolescents can understand the importance of sorting through the media and finding the healthy body images to look up to.
Increasing amounts of media use is fueled by the growing availability of Internet access through phones, laptops, television, and other electronic devices. Social media nowadays focus on measuring the popularity of an individual. For instance, Facebook includes “likes” and “shares”, Instagram has “likes” and “comments”, and Twitter has “favorites” and “retweets”. A study by the University of Salford in the United Kingdom did a study on social media’s effects on self-esteem and anxiety. They reported that participants said that their “use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter makes their lives worse” (Soltero, 2012). It made their lives worse because they had felt as though they were in a competition to get the most likes or comments. Of course, positive comments boost self-esteem, but most people writing behind the curtain of technology tend to write more negative comments. It is said that it is easier to communicate with an individual through technology than it is to communicate face-to-face. These negative comments are a major factor when it comes to negative self-esteem. Many websites are currently being sponsored by hundreds of advertisements. They are primarily aimed to emphasize the importance of being attractive. Sexually objectified images of girls and women, along with boys and men in advertisements, are most likely to appear in magazines, video games and on television. There is a video that came out in early 2014 that demonstrated what various food advertisements would look like if the females were switched out with males. The results were awkward and did not display the full potential the companies were originally trying to achieve. This is an example of advertisements primarily aimed to “please the public” rather than exhibiting a realistic setting. With the help of editing software, including the highly popular Adobe Photoshop, these programs assist in airbrushing and “fixing” models. Thus, resulting in adolescents wanting to look like what they see in the...

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