Choosing the right filter, uploading at peak time and tagging a few hours later to give the picture and second revive to reach more people to see. These are the thoughts that (admittedly) go through a lot teenagers minds when uploading a picture.
By why so much consideration?
Though many won’t admit it, we as a generation CRAVE social acceptance.
Let’s be honest, how many of us have uploaded a photo or status, only to delete it because it didn’t get enough likes? Most of us have! Because in our minds if no-one has ‘liked’ our post it isn’t worthy. We get embarrassed if it hasn’t got backing from our peers and quickly go to hide any evidence of this ‘failure’ by deleting it.
Many studies have been conducted looking into social media usage and it’s effect on people, in particular teenagers, and the findings are interesting.
Negative psychological findings:
- Time spent on Facebook is more significantly linked to body image concerns than other social media platforms (Tiggemann & Slater, 2013)
- More photo-related activity on Facebook is related to body image disturbances in teenage girls (Meier & Gray, 2014)
- Adolescents who engaged in more social comparison and feedback seeking behaviour online experienced more depressive symptoms a year later (Nesi & Prinstein, 2015)
These negative symptoms of social media usage are far more common than we think. The more the younger generation become aware of this the better. If we are more aware we can help prevent individuals over using these sites and consequently feeling inadequate. Body image and self esteem is made so much worse by social media and while we can’t get rid of social media altogether, addressing the problems it causes could be the answer to weening people off their addiction and become more happy and confident within themselves.
Perfection online isn’t real and the sooner people learn that the more they can appreciate their real selves!