Social Media’s Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Social media is a big part of our lives in this day and age. Over 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide, and it has a huge impact on our daily lives as well as our self-image. Although social media can be a stress reliever for some, it can do the complete opposite to others. Through spending hours upon hours of scrolling through our feeds, many of us face the realities of unrealistic standards that social media sets. 

Many people post on social media because they want the validation of others liking and commenting on their posts. They post because they want people to think that their life is perfect and that they’re living the dream. Some even take drastic measures just to get the perfect photo, and if they don’t get as many likes and comments as they hoped for, their self-esteem gets lowered. Social media paints a fake reality in people’s minds that everyone has this perfect life and you’re not beautiful if you don’t match society’s definition of “beauty”. This can then lead to eating disorders, anxiety, and even depression. 

If this is the effect that social media has on mental health, then why do people continue to use it? Well, the answer is addiction. When someone posts a picture and gets positive social feedback (numerous likes, comments, etc.) their brain releases a “feel good” chemical called dopamine. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure and it boosts our mood, but having too much can lead to gambling and other addictions. 

In conclusion, although social media has its own set of pros and cons, it can have an immense negative impact on certain individuals. It sets unrealistic expectations on humans, even young people, that can lead to having lower self-esteem. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stop using it as it has many positive effects, but it is important to avoid getting addicted to it for the sake of your mental health.  Thank you for reading!