Countering social media’s effect

How to NOT let social media affect body image

Here are ways in order to not let social media affect body image,

Skylar Brown, Staff Writer

Senior Lauren Schillig strengthened relationships with the people around her as she gave up social media last year for lent.

“What I learned about giving up social media is I realized that you can’t strengthen any relationships with people if you are always on your phone or social media.” Schillig said.

In a recent poll sent out to NDP students, it was found that 100 percent of students use social media and all of those students spend an hour or more a day on social media.

Social media has become a part of society and can often affect body image, but it doesn’t have to. There are many ways in which to not let social media affects others or how people perceive themselves.

In a recent article published by BBC, Mark Griffiths, at professor at Nottingham Trent University, found in his research that “technological compulsion like ‘social media addiction’ comes with all the behavioral signals that we might usually associate with chemical addictions, such as smoking or alcoholism.”

Griffiths concluded that it isn’t necessarily the amount of screen time that is the problem, but the way in which social media is being used.

Lisa McMorrow, counselor director at NDP, said that it is important to “realize that what you’re seeing [on social media] isn’t always reality and we have to build up self confidence.”

According to Suzana Flores, a psychologist at the Psychology Specialists in Phoenix, there are as many as 83 million fake Facebook profiles alone.

Online one can never be truly certain as to who they are talking to. Many times people don’t realize they are taking critiques, advice, or other information from complete strangers.

“A second problem is people are spending more time on social media and less time socializing in person or over the phone,” Flores said.

McMorrow explained that in order to not let social media take control, it isn’t necessary to cut it off completely. It could be something as simple as cutting back the amount of time you spend online. She reiterated that getting off of social media and having real conversations with real people is what society is lacking and needs more of.

Leslie Adams, behavioral health counselor at NDP, emphasized the importance of self-care and the importance of time. She encouraged others to take a moment to consider all that can be done with time and energy instead of worrying about outward appearance on social media.

As suggested by Lauren Schillig, the easiest way to not let social media affect you or those around you is to “just reduce the time on it”. She said that social media is a good thing, “but it’s only good if we are only spending a little bit of time on it.”

Social media started out as a tool in order to connect, share, and grow with friends and family. Overtime it has quickly turned into a personal vice and a way to mask who people truly are. According to Adams, the best way to use social media is in a limited matter in which it is used for its original purposes.