It has been found that spending too much of one’s leisure time on Facebook may lead to a distorted body image among young adults. Their self-esteem takes a nosedive thanks to online social media.
Those young folks who like to browse a lot on social media (Facebook is the most obvious example that comes to mind) tend to suffer from body image issues.
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They are also more likely to end up with an eating disorder or two. While social media is a culprit in these issues, it is not the sole causing agent behind low self-esteem or anorexia/bulimia/binge eating disorder.
The experts point out the fact that those with a tendency to contract these illnesses of personality tend to flock to Facebook and other online social media to hook up with others who are facing the same issues. It is a case of the more the merrier.
This study found that the effect was profoundly significant across the board. Gender, age, ethnicity or salary did not matter when it came to self-worth. 1765 individuals were examined with questionnaires. They were between the ages of 19 and 32. The study took place two years ago.
About a dozen online social media platforms were tallied for the study. They included: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and Linkedln.
The outcomes of the questionnaires were compared to a series of screening heuristics. These measured the likelihood of eating disorders.
Those who were real online social media addicts tended to show a 2.2 times greater risk of body image issues and eating disorders. Meanwhile, those who didn’t frequent social media so much were not likely to have these maladies. As for those who were freaks as regards social online media, they showed 2.6 times the risk.
Already there is sufficient evidence concerning television and fashion magazines having a negative influence on self-respect. They promote low self-esteem and eating disorders.
This is due to the media’s obsession with thinness and the ideal body (which by the way is unattainable). Social media is a step ahead of TV and glossies. It takes things to the interactive stage. It is here that many people start to compare themselves to others and be anything but themselves.
It seems that social online media and these self-esteem issues form a feedback loop that leads to greater loss of self-worth and self-confidence. In order to fit in the general crowd of shiny happy people, many individuals lose their self-image and end up in a depressed state of mind. They start hating themselves and turn to food for comfort or as a device thay could exercise control over.
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The results of this study appear in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the research was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).