In today’s social media world, our lives are on full display for comments and judgment. Very few young adults in America today are without at least some kind of social media account. Whether your site of choice is Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or Tumblr, the odds are that you have at least one social media account. While these websites and apps can be useful in helping you keep up with friends, and the news around the world, there are certainly some dark sides to social media as well. One of the most recognized effects of social media is its negative impact on a person’s body image. Many women, seeing their friends’ fantastic beach photos or their weight loss posts, feel inadequate, which can result in eating disorders or other self-destructive behaviors. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, our women’s treatment center can help you. Contact Crossroads Maine at 877.978.1667 today to learn more.
How Does Social Media Negatively Impact Body Image?
Although some experts claim that social media has a positive impact on the mental health of its users, most research indicates that it negatively affects their perception of their body image. For instance, multiple sources, including the journal Body Image, share that women tend to negatively compare their appearance with other women on their social media feeds. In fact, some research states that nearly 87% of women negatively compare their bodies to the images they see on social media. Because of the power of Photoshop, the photos on a person’s social media page may have been altered to show their body off to the best advantage. By doing so, they’re controlling how other people see them. However, the person looking on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t necessarily know that. They just see the perfect makeup or the strikingly skinny body.
In addition, it’s important to remember that the viewer is only seeing the “highlights” of their friends’ experiences. This phrase means that when you’re looking at a friend’s social media page, you’re only seeing the good things that they’re posting.
Social Media and Eating Disorders
The negative effects of social media on a woman’s body image can be destructive. Many women, seeing how “perfect” their friends’ lives are, feel down about their own. As a result, they may begin thinking about fast and effective ways to get the body shape that they want. Once again, they’re able to turn to social media for answers.
Today, teens and young adults can access the opinions of thousands of people at the press of the button. Unfortunately, many friends, web pages, and groups advocate disordered eating. These resources support individuals with eating disorders and encourage them to post pictures of so-called “progress” and celebrities who they use as inspiration. They also provide tips on how to hide eating disorder behaviors, become thin, and suppress hunger.
Following this advice can be extremely hazardous to your health if you don’t get treatment in time. If you have developed an eating disorder, it is imperative that you find treatment as soon as possible. At our Maine women’s eating disorder treatment center, we provide treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including: