Too much time on Facebook could cause bad body image

The amount of time spent looking at friends’ photos on Facebook and other social media outlets may be linked with insecurity about body image, according to a new study.

Data shows that young women are high users of social networking sites and post more “selfies”, when compared to their male counterparts. Little research has been done, however, on how social media may affect how women view themselves. In the new study, researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, Ohio University and the University of Iowa conducted a survey among 881 female college students in the U.S. The survey included questions about Facebook usage, diet and exercise habits and body image.

The results of the survey showed a direct correlation between amount of time spent on social networks and body image—the more time the women spent on Facebook, the more negative their  body image, and vice versa. No link between social media and eating disorders was reported, however.

The researchers said their findings suggest that the women seemed to have a tendency to compare themselves negatively with their friends. Friends’ photos in particular may influence body image and insecurities more than celebrities’ photos, since they are of known people, the researchers concluded. Experts added that the results speak to the “global phenomenon” of a preoccupation with weight and shape in today’s popular culture.

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Sourced from: BBC, 'Selfie' body image warning issued