Social media and carbon monoxide share a similarity between each other; they are both silent killers. Social media wears a mask; she is “”two-faced.”” With the mask on, we view her as a pleasant way of exchanging photographs, opinions, and videos with the people that we follow and interact with. But, when the mask is taken off and her true self is revealed, we are able to see who she truly is. Social media is able to cause serious harm to both men and women all around the world by destroying people’s self-worth, mental and physical well-being, and happiness overall.
Although females tend to be affected by social media more frequently, the male race still faces the horrible causes of social applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Last year, a research was conducted in England to find out how social media is affecting the lives of children and teenagers. The study found that out of approximately 9,000 young people, “”7.9% of young boys”” are likely to have emotional disorders due to social media usage (John 2018). The emotional disorders in this study mainly consisted of anxiety and depression. Though this percentage may seem “”low”” to some people, any percentage should be considered unfathomable. Due to the fact that social media is all about posting your “”best moments,”” many girls will upload pictures of themselves in scandalous outfits at different types of events. This in turn makes boys and young men create a “”standard”” of what a girl should look like. The problem with this “”standard”” is that they are able to degrade other girls just because they do not look like the image in their heads. For example, if a girl realizes that a boy does not like her solely because of what she looks like, said girl could develop physical issues that could even lead to fatal outcomes.
Women have dealt with body image issues for essentially all of history. In Jennifer Worley’s argument piece on female beauty, she referenced Hawthorne’s 1864 short story “”The Birthmark,”” which depicts a husband indirectly murdering his wife because she had a birthmark, a “”physical imperfection”” on her face (Worley). Though the world has seen improvements in regard to husbands not forcing their wives into facial surgery, there are still a copious amount of problems surrounding social media and female body issues. As previously stated, there is the predicament of males lowering females’ self-esteems due to the “”standards”” men created in their minds. There is also the fact that girls and women are constantly comparing themselves to one another. As an unfortunately frequent social media user, I often find myself scrolling through pictures of girls that I follow and think “”Why don’t I look like her?”” At one point in time, every girl has felt as though she is not tall enough, skinny enough, beautiful enough, etc. because of the way social media is so deeply rooted in everyone’s lives. As the pressure of being outwardly perfect increases, the chances with women of having eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia are bound to increase as well. Along with physical disorders, mental disorders follow closely behind, which is an issue that is extremely prevalent in today’s society.
The amount of attention that mental health is receiving is at its peak throughout the course of history and time. Even celebrities and politicians are speaking out on their social media accounts about how vital it is to make sure mental health is at the top of everyone’s priority list. But, the one thing that celebrities and politicians are missing is that social media itself is one of the main causes of mental disorders. In the 2017 United Kingdom study on social media and adolescents, the report found that “”young women are three times as likely to have emotional disorders as boys of the same age group”” (John 2018). The study also reported that girls and young women between 17 and 19 “”have rates of emotional disorder more than twice that of any of the other demographic groups studied”” (John 2018). In order for females to delay from having mental health issues, they need to feel loved, appreciated, and accepted on social media platforms.
There is also the argument that social media is genuinely helping females and males with their mental and physical well-being. Applications such as Facebook and Twitter are able to be a resource for people, specifically women, who are struggling with inner and outer health issues. The main reason as to why social media is potentially able to help rather than hinder people is because these platforms “”[allow] access to material relating to a large body of people”” (Shepherd et al. 2). The material viewed on these platforms are also free of charge, so people that are struggling with their issues do not have to pay to see a psychiatrist or health physician.
Beside all of the helpful qualities that social media possess, it is still important to be cognizant of the fact that it is causing problems in our world today. Let this be a “”wake up call”” to people all over the world. We need to start accepting one other more, and genuinely care for people who are in need of help. We need to uplift each other, rather than point out each other’s flaws. We need to love unconditionally.
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