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Social media and girls-what a combination!
Social media is all the hype these days, and if you don’t post a picture of something on Instagram, it’s like it didn’t happen!
Teenage girls form a large percentage of social media users, and they use it to keep up with their social circle and maintain their online appearance. They take inspiration from the so-called social media ‘influencers’, however:
These influencers glam up their lives on social media, and what we see is a highly selective and filtered view of their life.
When a girl posts a picture online, it opens up the floodgates for hundreds of people (sometimes, thousands and millions!) to view these pictures and post public comments on them.
This becomes a problem when a young girl sees comments about her body and appearance and forms a negative body image in her mind.
Negative body image is related to negative self-esteem and may lead to increased use of Photoshop and filters to keep up appearances. Some girls may even develop unhealthy eating habits after seeing unkind remarks about their weight, which may have devastating results.
Mental health experts are concerned and so are we.
Another negative aspect of social media is lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and even jealousy. When this jealousy is among friends and peers, it can be even more harmful.
What to do
While social media has a lot of negative aspects, it may have some value if used correctly.
The first and foremost thing is to control the time we spend on social media. It has been reported that some teenagers use social media for up to eight hours per day, which is a highly damaging practice. Instead, try to set a time limit for social media every day, and use that time to communicate with family and friends that you don’t meet every day.
It is also a good practice to filter the content you follow online and also limit your followers to close friends only.
Use social media for good
Like most other things, social media can be good or bad, depending on how we use it. If we control what we see and use it responsibly, it can be a great means of communication.
Check out Sisterhood Agenda’s Instagram for how we use social media for good:
Photo credit: Unsplash, Bruno Gomiero