In today’s society there is pressure to look or act a certain way in order to fit in. Teens are bullied from behind a screen; their weight and body size are constantly criticized by strangers. This can lead to eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, or even going to the extremes of plastic surgery. With the rise of social media, these problems are worsened; especially in women age twenty-five and younger who may already feel self conscious about themselves. Body image, mental health issues, and isolation are all problems that arise because of social networking apps, and these are some of the reasons why everyone should be a little bit kinder and think before they post.
The first concern created from the negative posts on social media is body image issues. With technology on the rise, teens are. A lot of the images and advertisements that show up on Instagram or Facebook show teeth whitening kits. From experience, seeing ads like that while scrolling Instagram makes me question myself, because it sends the message that we as girls cannot be ourselves and have to look a specific way in order to be accepted by society. What is posted online usually does not depict real life. Models pose a certain way so there are no fat rolls showing, any type of cellulite or unevenness is blurred and smoothed, and any imperfections like moles or freckles are erased with the help of Photoshop. When people like Kim Kardashian always post photos flaunting curvy hips and a thin stomach, people feel the need to try and attain that figure. In a survey of over one thousand people conducted in Deerfield Beach, Florida, more than half of the women between eighteen and twenty-four years old said that they feel pressured to make sure they always look perfect on their social media pages (Murray). This leads to people not wanting to share any pictures online from the fear that they will be judged or not get enough likes on the post. Seeing all the fake perfection makes girls question their own appearances; leading to them feeling bad about themselves and noticing every little imperfection, even if it is not noticeable to anyone else.
Having a distorted body image from the use of social media can cause girls to go to extremes to look their best, and also cause mental health issues. Eating disorders and depression are just a few of the issues that occur because celebrities and workout trainers always show off their slim frames online. According to one source, When people develop eating disorders. Going to the extremes and developing these diseases causes people to not want to stop what they are doing until they feel as though they look as good as the people portrayed on images online. Counting calories and monitoring everything that they eat becomes an obsession, so they do not gain any weight and move farther away from a certain goal. When someone with millions of followers, like Kylie Jenner, posts a photo online and claims that she has not had any work done on her face, the use of plastic surgery or cosmetics to improve looks also becomes a problem. Besides eating disorders and plastic surgery, researchers found throughout conducted studies that. The eating disorders and depression caused by social media can also lead to anxiety and suicidal thoughts and actions. If people thought a little bit more about how their altered posts affect the young and impressionable people who follow them, the amount of these issues being caused from social media would be lessened.
Another problem that can arise from the use of social media is isolation and problems between friendships. If there is a huge party occuring on a Saturday night with a group of somebody’s friends and one certain person is not invited, it will most likely cause of feelings of sadness and jealousy. Seeing a whole bunch of photos posted of a seemingly awesome night can make one who may not go out very much If someone posts a photo trying to show off a fun night, he or she may not realize that people who were not invited may be sitting at home wondering why they did not get to go. Not only does social media cause isolation because of the fear of missing out, it can also cause problems trying to interact with people in person. When in an uncomfortable or awkward situation occurs at school or work, the new normal is to check notifications and social networking apps to look busy. Personally, I sometimes check my phone even walking down an empty hallway at school with only myself and one other person I am friends with because I get anxious about walking past and thinking about saying something and somehow screwing it up.
Social media affects many people today; especially younger girls who are already just trying to love themselves. Body image, mental health issues, and isolation are all problems that occur because of the content on social networking apps like Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. If people would not fake what is supposedly real life on those apps, there would be less problems for women and girls who are already trying to accept themselves the way it is in today’s harsh world. If people would think about how flaunting their Photoshopped bodies and fun parties on the internet affects other people, it would help girls to realize that they are beautiful the way they are.
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