Social Media: How It Affects Young Girls

Social media has been a major topic of debate since the dawn of sites like MySpace, Youtube and Facebook. The impact on society and the influence that social media has on the younger population became a major focus in the past few years when stories of bullying and suicide became more prevalent, and the main similarity between them was social media. We saw an increase in young girls and some boys, dieting and developing life eating disorders and accompanying ailments in order to look like the models that are plastered across magazine covers and television screens.

    We know that social media has has an effect on children, but it is girls in particular who seem to be affected the most in the long run. Studies have shown that girls are generally more active users of social media and this increased use, along with the sleep deprivation it can cause leads to a higher possibility of depression. As girls are constantly looking at others images and are exposed to celebrities and editing at such an easy level and early age, that the natural need to compete with one another becomes a competition to determine who looks the best or is most popular by the amount of likes/comments from others.

    Social media is a great way to show people parts of your life and images of yourself that are handpicked to make you look like you’re living the high life with a healthy body image. That is simply the opposite of how many young girls feel in their real lives. Being constantly bombarded with images of these amazingly fit women with unattainable lifestyles warps young girl’s views of what is normal and the reality of what is actually achievable for the majority of people. While social media is not the sole cause of the rise in mood and eating disorders, it is a major factor that has to be taken into account when trying to improve one’s life to allow for people’s views to not be a major source of anxiety or attention.

    A way that some girls may find a way to pull themselves away from the influence of social media is to go out and do things they enjoy. Start with one activity for a short period of time, and leave your phone in your car or turn it off so you’re not tempted to use it during that time. Getting out and doing things you enjoy will get you to meet new people and remind yourself of the fun you can have when you’re not living life through a lens. You’ll be focused on yourself and the enjoyment you’re experiencing away from your phone and slowly the anxiety from constantly comparing yourself to others will fade away and become minimal or nonexistent in your thoughts.

 

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