Do you spend heaps of time on Facebook? Are you very self-conscious? Do you often feel bad about the way you look?
It turns out that you may need to get off Facebook, because there’s a direct correlation between the way you feel about yourself and how much time you spend on Facebook.
A study by researchers in the UK and the US surveyed 881 women across universities in both countries. They researched their Facebook use, their eating/exercise habits and their body image.
This from Medical News Today:
The findings showed that more time spent on Facebook was associated with more negative feelings and more comparisons to the bodies of friends. They also found that for women who want to lose weight, more time on Facebook led to more attention being paid to physical appearance. This included attention to one’s body and clothing.
And it makes sense, especially for girls that are in their twenties. After all, I’m a girl in my twenties and all I see on my Facebook page is:
– Ads for Ashy Bines and other weight loss programs;
– Ads for health products and weight loss products that will supposedly help me lose a huge amount of weight in little to no time, despite having no scientific evidence behind them whatsoever;
– Pictures of my Facebook friends in bikinis and board shorts, looking super hot and super tanned, lounging on beaches in Ibiza or sunning themselves on the Gold Coast;
– Pictures of the healthy meals and smoothies that my super-health-conscious friends have made.
And you know what? I often scroll through my Facebook feed and feel shitty about myself. Because I’m bombarded with all of the above. And even though I work out and take care of my body… I don’t seem skinny or pretty or active enough. I don’t spend enough of my time making healthy muffins and smoothies.
When in fact? None of it accurately represents real life.
It’s an issue we’ve talked about many times on Mamamia before. People don’t share their real selves on social media. They share the glossy, perfect versions of themselves. And in all honesty, I’m guilty of it too.
If you looked at my social media life, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’m always doing something really super exciting – skiing or surfing or trapezing or eating at an amazing restaurant – while dressed perfectly. When in reality, all I really do is work, go to uni, sleep and eat. While usually dressed in either trackies or these really loose silk pants I have that are only just passable for wearing as real pants and not pyjama pants.
Of course I’m not going to willingly put up a photo of my boring, average life. Or a photo in which I look really unattractive. And it’s the same with everyone else. Which is the main problem with social media – we get such an incredibly distorted view of what everyone’s real life is like.