Beauty Is in the Eye of the Camera

The Damaging Impact Social Media Is Having on Our Children

In the age of technological advancement and social media, the views that young boys and girls have are becoming distorted at a rapid pace. According to market research firm "Influence Central," the average age a child gets their first mobile phone is 10.3 years. Since your brain does not stop developing until your mid-20s, everything until that point will shape how you see the world cognitively. That is why I find the idea of a 10-year-old with a mobile phone harrowing.

Many young children in today’s society are part of the now "essential" social medias such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Whilst I understand that these medias are the new way to communicate with friends, there are negative effects. By constantly being on your phone, such as young children in particular are, this can lead to over-stimulation of the brain. According to Psychology Today, there’s a growing body of evidence that it can be a major contributing factor to anxiety, especially for those who are particularly sensitive to external stimuli. This could possibly be to blame for the rise in childhood and teenage anxiety.

Not only is social media causing early-onset anxiety, but it is also causing body issues among young girls. Over the years, we have seen the effects that the ultra-thin models in magazines have on women of all ages, setting a standard of beauty that leads to some developing anorexia and bulimia. However, now with social media to thank there are now even more body checklists that young girls and women feel like they have to tick. With the rise of Instagram, a social media that's sole purpose is for its users to post pictures, this brings a new layer to doubting your body image. It is common among young people that when they post a picture on Instagram they will take it down if it does not get a certain amount of likes as it is deemed as too "embarrassing." This is a horrible thought that young people are judging their self-worth on what other people think of a picture they posted.

The rise of the Kardashians has not helped the standards of beauty set by our current media. On every platform, you cannot avoid being bombarded by multiple click-bait articles about the famous family. Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian are the two most prominent members on social media with a combined Instagram following of 175 million. With this many followers, undoubtedly they are having some level of influence on fellow users of social media. With Kylie Jenner having lip injections at 15, rumours of fat being moved from her waist to her butt and an even more recent speculation of her having a boob job, this creates an unrealistic expectation for women and young girls around the world. There has also been proof found that many of her Instagram pictures have actually been photo-shopped to make her even more curvaceous and smoothing out any impurities. Although, what Kylie Jenner or anyone does with their bodies is their own business and if she wants to alter her body that is completely her choice. It is just the clear domino effect that this can have on our youth is frightening.

So what can we do to stop all this? I’m not sure there is much we can do. We live in a world that is becoming vastly run by technology to the point where we cannot just stop. If we were to take our children’s phones away they would revolt against us and probably get bullied at school for being the only child without a phone. All we can do is educate our youth about the dangers of social media and support them whenever we can.

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