The ugly truth about social media and selfies

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The pressure to look good among young people has never been greater.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have ramped up the intensity and scrutiny on bodies of both young females and males.

Every picture posted or tweeted seemingly has to be meticulous in its preparation, it has to have the perfect lighting, the perfect angle, the perfect framing in order to gain likes and attention.

But what isn’t mentioned is that behind every snap there are six or seven other slightly poorer versions that didn’t make the grade and were discarded to the rubbish bin so no one else could see.

The danger of this ‘picture perfect’ message being repeatedly bombarded on young brains is unsettling. Studies now show that teenagers and young adults feel more stressed and anxious about the pressures of social media.

This can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and depression because they don’t feel like they meet other people’s expectations,

Muscle or body dysmorphia – a negatively distorted look on how someone sees themselves – is another problem which has reared its ugly head in the selfie era and is particularly prevalent in young men who don’t feel they are big enough when in reality they are.

Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder which can begin as an innocent attempt to eat more healthily but gradually becomes obsessive and is particularly common in teenage girls.

These issues have been fuelled by social media and the desire to be ‘perfect’.
There is no doubt social media has had a positive impact on people’s lives but there are much deeper issues which have still to be resolved and will continue to prey on the minds of vulnerable people until they are given the right education about the distorted reality they face online.