Social Media- A “Toxic Mirror”

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By: Shanie Glasgow

With almost all teens owning devices that allow them to connect to the internet, cyberbullying is something that happens more often now. When i was growing up, i remember having to sit down on the computer and login into my aol chat to talk with my friends, or any kind of chat really. We could text our friends on our flip phones, but mom only allowed me to have so many texts a month. It’s hard to imagine a time when i didn’t have unlimited data on my phone!

Anyways, social media platforms are all ways for teens compare themselves to others. Studies have shown that girls tend to report eating disorders and body image disturbances more than boys! Click here to read more on the studies!

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The internet has become an outlet where teens can photoshop their pictures to do a number things! Like smoothing out wrinkles or blemishes, thinning out your face or other parts of your body, etc. This all happens more often now because teens feel like they have to compete with each other to be the prettiest or best at something. I know many girls who will delete something they have posted on Instagram or Facebook because it “didn’t get enough likes” or because somebody else made a comment on it that they didn’t like. We shouldn’t care about the opinions of other people. We should only care about ourselves and being happy with who we are!

The type of models that females look up to or aspire to be like are usually around 5’11 and 125 pounds. Why is it that we see skinny as beautiful? I personally feel that everyone should be proud of who they are and only alter their body if it’s something they truly want! It’s scary how social media convinces teens that if you don’t look like this, you aren’t beautiful.

Sources:

Vries, Dian A. De, Jochen Peter, Hanneke De Graaf, and Peter Nikken. “Adolescents’ Social Network Site Use, Peer Appearance-Related Feedback, and Body Dissatisfaction: Testing a Mediation Model.” SpringerLink. Springer US, 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

“How Social Media Is a Toxic Mirror.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017./.latest_citation_text

“How Social Media Affects Body Image.” The Crimson White. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017./.latest_citation_text

“The Impact of Social Media on Body Image.” UConn Today. N.p., 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism