Ah, social media – it’s a fickle beast (just ask Taylor Swift.)
Sometimes, you’ll share a post and be all:
But more often than not, the aftermath is more like:
Which is why the folks over at FitRated looked into how time spent on the ‘gram (and FB, Snapchat, and Twitter etc) affects our body image, self-esteem and health-related behaviour. To do this, they quizzed 1,000 people about their social media habits – and what they found out inspired us to put an end to the mindless scrolling.
While typical social media users and non-social media users reported having normal body image, avid social media users (aka, ppl that use apps for three hours or more a day) were way more likely to view themselves in a negative light. This included believing their appearance was extremely important, being dissatisfied with how they looked and having super low self-esteem. Not ideal.
The survey also touched on all the things SM users wished they could change about their bodies. While almost everyone listed “stomach” and “weight” as their main problem areas, interestingly, those who spent the most time online also added “legs” and “teeth” to the mix.
It’s not all bad news for us social media-obsessives though.
Although avid selfie-takers (those who posted three or more pics of themselves a month) were likely to value their appearance more heavily than others, this didn’t necessarily reflect badly on their self-esteem. In fact, this group felt the most comfortable in their own skin. And since studies show that snapping selfies on the reg can majorly boost your confidence levels, this makes a lot of sense – if you like taking photos of yourself, you probably rate how you look too.
Bottom line? The time you spend on social media and what you post can have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself - for better or worse. You’ve officially been warned.