Social Media has been proven to serve as great tool with incredible potential to communicate and engage with family, friends, customers, clients, stakeholders, and larger audiences. Social Networking Sites allow for individuals to engage and communicate through online technology through several different media forms (Lipschultz, 2018). This variety of platforms can be used for publishing content, dispersing information, and sharing thoughts and opinions (Highfield & Leaver, 2015). Despite all of the positive opportunities of social media, there are still several negative affects which can become problematic. This listicle highlights seven of these negative effects.
Highfield, T., & Leaver, T. (2015). Instagrammatics and digital methods: Studying visual social media, from selfies and GIFs to memes and emoji. Communication Research and Practice, 2, 47–62.
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). Social media communication: Concepts, practices, data, law and ethics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Linked to self-esteem, social media exposure can also lead to a negative perception of one’s body image, especially when users spend time scrolling through photos of others on a regular basis.
Exposure to social media, can cause overwhelming pressure to look a certain way, which can lead to the development of negative eating habits, or even eating disorders.
Viewing social media content, can affect a person's ability to distinguish between expectation and reality. Not every woman can or should look like a Victoria Secret Model!
The constant pressure to look, act, or feel a certain, and the disappointment that comes from failing to do so can really begin to weigh on a person and their overall satisfaction. Overtime, this can lead to increased anxiety or in certain cases, depression.
If users are not cautious, the high standard of beauty that social media content sets, can quickly lead to the development of skewed beauty ideals. So much so, that users can easily forget with real beauty and confidence looks like.
From an early age, we are told not to compare ourselves to others, but this becomes very difficult when social media users choose to spend countless hours scrolling through content created by others. Whether it's how to eat healthy, workout videos, meal prep, HGTV homes, or unimaginable vacations, as social media users we can easily get sucked in to the comparison game.
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