A Closer Look at the Effects of Social Media on Body Image

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It seems we’re learning more and more about the potential negative effects of social media. According to a study conducted by researchers at York University in Toronto and published in Body Image, the ways young women interact with images of others online often have a negative effect on their feelings about themselves and their bodies.

The study involved an ethnically diverse group of 118 young women ages 18 to 27 who “liked” or commented on photos of people they considered more attractive than themselves. Study participants were randomly assigned to two groups. One group was asked to log in to Facebook or Instagram for at least five minutes, find a photo of a peer they considered to be more attractive than themselves, and leave a comment. The other (control) group was asked to do the same thing for a family member’s post.

According to the Canadian researchers, this exercise did not have a negative effect on self-image in the control group, but young women in the first group felt worse about themselves and more dissatisfied with their bodies after viewing and commenting on the attractive photos.

Sourced from: Science Direct