For the past few weeks, I was scrolling through the Snapchat discovery page when something caught my eye. Amidst all the daily news and polls provided by various magazines and newspapers, a headline from the Daily Mail read “Chandler is that you ?!” Matthew Perry looks worse for wear on the first sighting since the Friends’ meeting. After clicking on it I was shocked at what I saw. A column based heavily on the appearance of former Friends actor Matthew Perry. Simply dressed in a basic t-shirt, basketball shorts and sneakers, he was repeatedly criticized throughout the article for “not looking his best”, despite the article. also saying that he had just had coffee with a friend.
To be honest, I haven’t seen one of those “shameful” tabloids since the early 2000s, and I couldn’t believe it still exists today. You all remember the ’50 Best and Worst Beach Bodies’ headlines that both raised the ‘fit’ celebs of the season and completely destroyed those with signs of normal body texture.
However, it’s not too surprising that posts like this still exist, as social media has essentially been the app-based form of these things for years.
Photoshop usage has exploded recently in apps like Instagram and TikTok, with apps allowing photoshop video creation recently.
And while Photoshop itself isn’t the problem, the way it’s been formatted over time to encourage unrealistic standards is.
Day after day, photos with a slimmer waist and enlarged hips and lips are shared on the platforms, causing an uproar among their users.
In a 2017 study conducted by Match, 51% of social media users reported that different apps made them more self-conscious about how they looked, and this will only increase over the years.
By comparison, with this statistic, more than one in two people you meet have trouble with their image because of those photo and thought sharing apps that we have in our pockets. So, if you yourself are worried about how you look because of the media platforms lately, you are definitely not alone.
It’s not just the effect of social media on body image. Whether we realize it or not, social media is pushing this concept of the need to have a perfect life, 24/7. Whether you have tens, hundreds, or thousands of followers, you probably wouldn’t want your followers to see you feeling lonely, sad, or stressed out. It’s understandable, we like to put our best foot forward in the world no matter what, but it also affects us more negatively than we realize.
By simply scrolling through post after post of people having fun, laughing with friends, or looking perfectly groomed while shopping, we subconsciously engender the fear of missing something and usually create the idea of ââ”since everyone seems having such a good time, they must be doing better than me. Which is simply not true. We have to remember that everyone is human and they have good days and bad days, no matter what they look like online.
In 2018, researchers divided 143 University of Pennsylvania students into two groups, those who could use social media every day without restrictions and those who were limited to 30 minutes of social media use per day. After the experiment was over, those who spent only 30 minutes a day on social media reported less severity of depression as well as loneliness.
After taking a two-month social media hiatus myself earlier this year, said improvements were evident from the first days. Either way, having absolutely no idea what’s going on in the world around you brings an aspect of peace to the table, whether you choose to leave social media behind for a few hours, days or weeks. So, for those who are planning to go offline as well, I highly recommend you give it a try.