Social Media’s Negative Effects on Body Image – And What We Can Do About It

Have you ever felt bad about your body after scrolling your social media feeds before? Unfortunately, my hunch is that a lot of us would answer ‘yes’ to this question.

And a new study from WebMD draws the same conclusion, as the findings show women are less likely to be happy with their bodies if they spend more than an hour a day on social media (um, pretty sure that’s all of us). Another recent survey says 80% of women compare themselves to images in the media – most of these comparisons being negative.

SIGH. I think we can all agree that we’ve scrolled Instagram or seen some type of social media post that made us compare ourselves or not feel good (cue the picture of some cute girl on a beach in her bikini). And it’s important to be conscious of how social media is affecting your thoughts about yourself, and do as much as possible to avoid or help yourself through those negative feelings.

In hopes of curbing this social media problem (and these findings that make me really sad), here are a few things I want to make a better effort of doing:

  • Sharing more realness. No makeup, no poses, yeah, the real stuff. I’ve always said I wanted to do more of this, and after getting fired up over these findings – it’s happening. The more we’re all showing our real sides and not just the perfect way we want to be depicted on social media, the more normalized that will become. And even if we’re not posting no makeup pictures, being less focused on being so ‘perfect’ in our photos will help too.
  • Scrolling less. Another thing I’ve wanted to curb is my addiction to scrolling. Though it’s part of my job to stay up to date on the latest trends, and I truly do enjoy seeing content out there from friends, etc., there’s got to be a certain limit – which I have to believe will also limit my exposure to these negative effects of social media, right? Trying to set limits (i.e., no phone before bed, take a break from social media for the day, etc.) could really help.
  • Checking ourselves when we start to compare or envy someone. The more we make ourselves aware of this issue, the better. If I’m scrolling aimlessly and not even realizing that I’m starting to think negatively about myself, how am I going to change that negativity? Scrolling less will certainly help, but being aware and really thinking about it next time could help too. You might have a moment where you’re like, ‘Wow this is dumb, why am I comparing myself to this person?’ and it can help you move on.

Do you have any others? Is this something you’re going to put into practice in your own life? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or email me at thecurveconfessions@gmail.com!

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