Does Social Media Contribute to the development of Eating disorders in Young Adults?

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Throughout the years social media has been identified as both a positive and negative role in the lives of young adults. The media today has expanded in a broad range of uses that consist of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and etc. The media allows individuals to have a glance at the lives of others simply by viewing one’s own images and videos of themselves.

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Although the media can play a positive effect in the lives of individuals it can also reinforce negative feelings concerning one’s own body. The media was intended to establish communities, meet new people, catch up on relatives, promote advertising and etc. It is assumed that the media has increased the chances of individuals to develop eating disorders in young adults. There have been numerous of studies that have shown the negative effects that media has on individual’s.

In 1954, psychologist Lesting Festinger developed the theory that individuals can identify oneself social and personal worth based on how people perceive them. In other words, people start to compare themselves on the things that the individuals may want but do not have or can develop inadequacy. This theory is recognized as Social Comparison Theory. An example of Social Comparison theory can consist of a female who is average weight views a Model magazine that portrays a tall thin model might develop feelings of body dissatisfaction in the individual. Today in society many individuals are effected in comparing oneself to others based off the images that is shown on social media. Often times, the media has represented unrealistic body expectation that can cause individuals to become dissatisfied in one’s own appearance.

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