SOCIAL MEDIA AND BODY PERCEPTION

Social media is becoming widespread with the effects of developing technology and globalization, and it is a digital medium that has negative as well as positive aspects, where we all share parts of ourselves and our lives. While the positive use of this medium results in socialization and information, the negative use of it results in extremely dangerous situations. The biggest of these dangers is the obligation that individuals impose on themselves and their bodies to be perfect, and if this cannot be achieved, individuals will have a negative self- and body perception.

Jan 4, 2024 - 18:35
Jan 4, 2024 - 18:55
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SOCIAL MEDIA AND BODY PERCEPTION
SOCIAL MEDIA AND BODY PERCEPTION

Body perception is a concept that reflects the individual's feelings and thoughts about his or her own body. In other words, what a person sees when he/she looks in the mirror and the satisfaction he/she feels with what he/she sees are the individual's body perception. We all look in the mirror and examine ourselves from the moment we wake up in the morning. Sometimes we feel better when we look in the mirror, and sometimes we feel bad. The satisfaction we feel about ourselves may change depending on our mood and life that day. What is important here is how we feel about our body in the long term and how strong these feelings are. For example, we can understand that the body perceptions of individuals who say sentences such as "I feel so ugly, I hate the body I see when I look in the mirror" are severely negative. Our perceptions about our bodies are formed depending on the person's own beauty and value judgments. However, with the increasing prevalence of social media, perceptions of beauty are now stereotyped and a uniform perception of beauty is formed as a result of discussions about what the ideal woman/man should be like, and individuals feel obliged to comply with these perceptions created by social media.

So how can social media affect body perceptions so much?

 Nowadays, social media is a media tool that everyone from 7 to 70 can access and share every moment of their life by opening the doors of their identity and life to others. In addition to easy access to information and current events in this media, we are also exposed to a lot of content we do not want. On these platforms, individuals share themselves, their thoughts and some moments of their lives with others, while also having the opportunity to follow the lives of others. For this reason, the content shared with the desire to be noticed, attracted attention and liked by others is increasing day by day. In addition, competition and comparing oneself with others due to the desire to be better than the other's sharing, body, and to be liked more are becoming extremely common. With the widespread use and sharing of social media, it reaches larger audiences and influences them day by day.

The best looking photos, the most beautiful views and the most beautiful places are shared on social media. They try to portray a beautiful and perfect image in people's eyes, aiming to attract attention and be liked. However, there are moments when we feel unhappy and bad, and there are photos that we don't like about ourselves, but we do not share them with others, and we are portrayed as if we are perfect individuals. Individuals who have many followers and are followed by the masses are taken as examples, and people want to be like them. It is tried to be the ideal that is accepted in social media and society. As a result of all this, individuals begin to feel inadequate and worthless. To cope with this feeling, they use filters, undergo plastic surgery, eat nothing and try to lose weight in order to have the ideal body. Additionally, in this virtual world, individuals can easily criticize and bully others from behind their phones. Therefore, the individual strives to make himself or herself accepted by others in this virtual world and society. As a result of this effort, it is inevitable that individuals will experience psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, substance addiction, etc. due to lack of self-confidence as a result of not reaching the desired ideality and popularity.

How to Develop Positive Body Perception?

  •  First of all, it should not be forgotten that no one is perfect and what is shared on social media are only the good aspects of life. If there are still accounts that make you feel uncomfortable and inadequate, it would be much healthier for you to unfollow these accounts.
  •  You should evaluate yourself with all your positive and negative aspects by making detailed evaluations about how correct it is to stereotype bodies and people, what the ideal is for you, and whether you do not have to conform to the perceptions of society.
  •  You should consider that there is no ideal beauty, that every person has genuine and unique aspects, and that the concept of beauty is relative, and think about whether your appearance is what makes you who you are, what brought you to where you are today.
  •  If you cannot maintain a balance between your positive and negative thoughts about yourself and are experiencing this difficulty in your life, you may consider getting support from an expert.

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Ebrar Koku Merhaba, ben Ebrar Koku. Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt üniversitesinde Psikoloji bölümünde öğrenciyim, 3üncü sınıfım. Çeviri yapmak benim için bir hobi sayılabilir, ilgi çekici ve bilgilendirici konularda yazılan makaleleri sizler için çevirmekten mutluluk duyuyorum. İyi okumalar :)