The Negative Effects of Social Media Relating to Appearance

Over the last ten years, social media has grown and expanded exponentially. With a large variety of platforms, millions of social media users are active on a daily basis. 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.

Currently, the top five global social media platforms, are (1) Facebook, (2) YouTube, (3) Instagram, (4) Twitter, and (5) Reddit, which equates to over 5.2billion monthly visitors combined. Along with the great strengths and opportunities that social media presents, accompanies its potential negative effects relating to appearance. Some of these effects include, low self-esteem, negative body image, poor eating habits, unrealistic expectations, depression and anxiety, skewed beauty ideals, and constant comparison between the appearances of others.


As a whole social media is an incredibly positive tool. Without social media, workplaces would not be able to actively engage with stakeholders, create and share updated content on behalf of their organization, market products, advertise for events, fundraise for specific causes and nonprofits, etc. Businesses and organizations need social media to be able to grow and develop. Social media will only continue to expand with creation of new platforms, leading to larger audiences and more opportunity.


As individuals, we must be extremely cautious about the material we choose to focus on, and the impact that it can have on us overtime. According to a recent survey, internet users spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day scrolling through different social media platforms, and interacting with specific content. From instructional workout videos, to meal prepping, to fashion blogs, extravagant vacations, and dream homes, it can be very easy to get sucked in to an unrealistic expectation of how one should look, feel, and act, and it can be easy to lose one’s self in all the chaos.

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 what real beauty and confidence look like. From an early age, we are told not to compare ourselves to others, but this becomes very difficult to not fall subject to the comparison game, when social media users choose to spend countless hours scrolling through content created by others. 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!

Overall, social media is a huge asset in today’s society, both personally and professionally and its opportunities are endless. The purpose of this blog post, is not to persuade people to stop using social media, but rather to spread awareness of the potential negative effects that it can have on us and the way we view ourselves.


Kallas, P. (2017, July 13). Top 15 most popular social networking sites and apps. Dream Grow. Retrieved from https://www.

Salim, S. (2019, January 04). How much time do you spend on social media? Research says 142 minutes per day. Retrieved from


Author: Morgan

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