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

875 words - 4 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 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. Body image is one of the top problems that boys and girls experience. Our media-saturated world provides many teens with low self-esteem, eating disorders, and overall dissatisfaction with one’s body.
Increasing amounts of media use is fueled by the growing availability of Internet access through phones, laptops, television, and video games. All social media nowadays tries to measure the popularity of a person. For instance, Facebook includes “likes” and “shares”, and Instagram has “likes” and “comments”. They are now primarily aimed to emphasize the importance of being attractive through advertisements. Sexually objectified images of girls and women, along with boys and men in advertisements are most likely to appear in magazines and on television. With the help of editing software, including the highly popular Adobe Photoshop, these programs assist in airbrushing and “fixing” models. Thus, adolescents seeing these images all around them makes them want to look like what they see in the media. A study by the University of Salford in the UK 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). Many of these websites are currently being sponsored by hundreds of advertisements. Most of the websites mentioned earlier allow one to add friends and meet new people, the other photos or people you see are of beautiful and handsome celebrities and models.
Media contributes to many people with disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. Long-term exposure of media during childhood and adolescence lays the foundation for the negative effects of media during early adulthood. Magazine reading, social comparisons, and critical body image processing are important predictors of body image and eating disturbances for adolescent boys and girls (Botta, 2003). Men and women suffering from eating disorders tend to use food and the control of food to help cope with feelings and emotions. For some, dieting, bingeing and purging may begin as a way to cope with painful emotions and to feel in control of one’s life (“Factors That May...

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