How Social Media Affects Body Image

Likes, Comments, And Followers


Part of the way social media users evaluate their social status is by looking at their number of likes, comments, and followers. Posts with more or fewer likes are seen as being more or less valuable accordingly, and from here it is only a small step to someone valuing themselves based on whether their posts get more or less likes. This ratchets up the pressure to post personal images on social media websites, in the hopes of seeking validation from peers. 

For those users who don’t receive that validation, the effects on their self-confidence can be devastating. When children, especially girls, don’t receive many likes for their pictures, they may start to assume this is due to their failure to live up to the standards of beauty held by their peers. The facts illustrate the seriousness of this dynamic. A recent survey from Common Sense Media found twenty-two percent of girls reported feeling bad about themselves if their photos are ignored, twenty-seven percent reported feeling stress about their appearance in online photos, and thirty-five percent expressed worries about getting tagged in unattractive pictures.

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