Social Media Effects on Beauty
Over the past decade, a new mental health problem, social media disorder, has emerged. Almost 50% of the world's population has one or more social media account. In 2005, there weren't as many apps, and only 5% of Americans were using them. During the pandemic, use has surged to at least 75%. From misinformation or information overload, what are some of the real effects overuse is causing. Are we coping through social media or addicted?
The issue is not the use of social media; it's the overuse. The fear of missing out or FOMO for short, boredom, and loneliness are tied to the dopamine addiction that social media gives. Apps are designed to hook us. They keep us coming back for more, whether it's news, cat videos, TikTok dances, or the next viral challenge. Some people log onto social media multiple times a day, aimlessly searching for something exciting.
More and more people look to social media as their perception of what beauty is. From filtered skin to altered body images, so much content is unreal or exaggerated. Of course, there are some authentic people on social media, too. Most of us take it with a grain of salt, but some don't.
After watching the HBO documentary, Fake Famous, it made me think harder about my use. The documentary by journalist, Nick Bilton, touches on the perception of success, beauty, and validation through social media. It's a little more critical, in my opinion, but the intention is for us to protect ourselves from overconsumption. I recommend giving it a look.
Another documentary called The Social Dilemma dives into the dangers of social networking. Actress Justine Bateman wrote about the topic, too. It's called Fame: The Hijacking of Reality.
Not only does continuously looking at our phones give us a turtle neck (or tech neck), it changes our perception of beauty. In turn, that could affect our self-esteems. Another negative is that blue light emitted from our electronics can affect our sleep cycles and, possibly, our skin.
How many of us go down the rabbit hole? Then, look up, disappointed that we've wasted over an hour on an app? When being online for anything other than work bleeds into our personal lives, such as choosing social media over interacting with friends or family, neglecting work, or not completing necessary tasks, it's a problem. It's similar to being anti-social versus social in real life.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg somewhat disagreed when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that social media platforms could be addictive, calling research inconclusive. Do we need Zuckerberg to confirm or any evidence written out for us to know that it is?
The more disturbing part is how it affects children and young adults, especially school kids. From digital threats, predators to unrealistic comparisons, it can significantly affect a growing young person.
Since Covid, our habits have drastically changed. Many people have slept less directly caused by social media's overuse and its adverse effects on our mental health. As long as we keep our priorities as priorities, we'll be fine. We don't need social media or validation from distant acquaintances or strangers to give our brains the feeling of being rewarded (dopamine).
How we use social media is what truly determines its effects. More people are overconsuming social media than we think. We always need to take action for our well-being. Overuse can heighten anxiety and depression and lead to body dysmorphic disorder. Who needs more of that?
The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale is a survey to self-evaluate our level of possible addiction. If interested, take it. Speaking to a therapist or professional is such a brave and awesome action for anyone. Some apps can help reduce social media usage. iPhone users have the option to limit screen time in specific apps. Other choices are to turn off notifications and delete apps that don't serve you.
Embracing and caring for our natural beauty is part of self-care. We can't slap a bandaid or filter on our feelings. We can keep good skincare habits and a consistent wellness routine. A good practice is skincare layering, which has been on an uphill trend for years. Try squeezing in our powerful serum, Rescue Skin, in your layers.
Our skin is our gift. We don't need filters masking our natural beauty. We should be celebrating our perfections and imperfections. We need skin positivity! You are the most important influencer in your life. Don't let anything or anyone let you forget that.