Earlier this year, psychologists found robust cross-cultural evidence linking social media use to body image concerns, dieting, body surveillance, a drive for thinness and self-objectification in adolescents. Visual platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat deliver the tools that allow teens to earn approval for their appearance and compare themselves to others. The most vulnerable users, researchers say, are the ones who spend most of their time posting, commenting on and comparing themselves to photos.
The average teen spends about nine hours per day using media for their enjoyment, according to a report by Common Sense Media. Frighteningly, those same teens spend less than an average of 10 minutes a day talking to their parents. Movies, commercials, magazines, and websites portray beautiful people as ideal.
The effects of advertising on body image have been studied by researchers, ranging from psychologists to marketing professionals. Particularly, the body image advertising portrays affects our own body image. Of course, there are many other things that influence our body image: parenting, education, intimate relationships, and so on.
In the current situation, our economic, social and political decisions are widely being influenced by the invisible hands of money hungry media. According to the Centers for disease control and prevention CDCthe suicide rate is currently the third largest leading causes of death among teenagers, and the numbers are growing day by day. The media is supposed to portray what is normal; therefore, it affects what society considers normal.
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The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens. This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
As social media continues to play a central role in the lives of adolescent girls and young women, its influence on body image and the perception of beauty continues to grow. Social media not only exposes young girls to certain beauty standards and cultural ideals of womanhood, but emerging research shows it may contribute to the development of eating disorders and body dysmorphia, in females as well as males. As many as 20 million American women and 10 million American men will experience an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, and a large proportion of those affected are adolescents and teens. Social media may be a significant contributor to such behaviors.
Teens credit social media for helping to build stronger friendships and exposing them to a more diverse world, but they express concern that these sites lead to drama and social pressure. By Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang. Today, social media use is nearly universal among teens.
More than ever, teens are exposed to a dizzying array of media outlets. While parents used to just worry about how much time their teens spent watching television, the Internet, smart phones, magazines, and publicly displayed television e. All these mediums tend to provide very mixed messages about what makes someone physically attractive as opposed to what's healthy, and then add another layer of confusion by promoting often unhealthy behaviors and foods.