Social Media On Ideals

In today’s society, many people struggle with self-image and turn to social media for acceptance. Sadly, social media usually shows more images of thin and attractive people and makes it easier to criticize one another. This can lead to body surveillance, which is close monitoring of one’s appearance, eating disorders, using filters on images, and many more issues that can destroy your mental health. This is all a part of Appearance-Related Social Media Consciousness (ASMC), which is basically how much women change to fit into social ideals.

The ASMC is based off of the objectification theory. This theory explains how society causes women to change themselves based on sexualization (Strubel, Jessica, et al). However, social media can also be a positive social support system, can build confidence by letting people express themselves, and teach young people to accept themselves for who they are.

Also, not all users are rude, some encourage health and only post positive comments. Considering this, your self-perception begins when you are young and is reinforced over time.

People base their self-worth on the ideals of social media and what people say about them. This can be positive and help build confidence, or it can make you seek acceptance from others. To begin, the positive aspects of social media are meeting new people, self-expression, and awareness and help for problems. Social media helps you to meet new people and make new friends. These new friends may not be someone you have met in person, but their support is beneficial either way.

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It also allows for self-expression. During this vulnerable stage of life it is important that adolescents are allowed to fully express themselves. There are also plenty of supportive people on social media and for every hateful comment there are multiple positive ones. Many accounts also support mental and physical health and offer helpful resources for those whose struggle is in these areas.

However, social media also has a lot of negative aspects. Everyone has social media, and many use it to judge people before they actually meet them. Those who use social media spend a large part of their day looking at posts with a lot of likes and want to be popular like them. This can cause people to use drastic measures to fit in and look attractive. Women are especially vulnerable, as the Objectification Theory explains. “According to objectification theory, through such socialization processes, which include sexual objectification and messages about gender identity, women are exposed to and internalize these socially constructed and culturally based standards of appearance (i.e., develop cognitive schema)” (Strubel, Jessica, et al).  This theory is based on the choice of aesthetic over functionality when it comes to our bodies (Strubel, Jessica, et al).

This has caused most young people to use filters to make themselves look more like popular or attractive individuals that are their same age or in their social circles. Social media is also a huge platform for young adults to make a public image on apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, the lists goes on and on. Everyone is so worried about being “liked” on social media that they can go to great measures to look like everyone else to the point where it affects online and offline choices that can cause serious mental health issues. Choukas-Bradley, S., Nesi, J., Widman, L., & Higgins, M. K. support this, “Decades of research indicate that women who engage in higher levels of body surveillance tend to show lower body esteem, greater depressive symptoms, and a host of other maladaptive outcomes,” and “furthermore, in a separate line of research, lower levels of body esteem have been linked to greater offline body surveillance and offline body comparison.” Being accepted on social media has grown to influence every day decisions people make, to the point where people have to move their food around to take a nice picture to post before they eat.

In Conclusion, social media is a large part of young adults’ life. This stage is vulnerable because adolescents are deciding who they want to be and starting their first relationships. Social media can easily build you up or tear you down, so it is important to protect yourself from harmful media. It can also open users to hateful criticism, floods viewers with images of the ideal body type, and encourage drastic measures to fit in with social and age groups. However, it also opens doors for new friends, positive support, and self-expression. My belief is that social media usually encourages tiny waists and an intense healthy life style causing adolescents to resort to drastic measures for social acceptance. Considering the evidence, social media isn’t a horror we should all avoid. However, one must filter what they view and have strong social support systems to remind themselves that they do not need to change to get more likes on an image.

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Social Media On Ideals. (2021, Dec 18). Retrieved from

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