Social Media, Body Dysmorphia And Other Issues: How To Fight It All

Body Dysmorphia

It is undeniable that social media has a lot of benefits: you can make a living out of it, you can start a business, you can display your skills and make a name. You can contact almost anyone in the world and you can stay connected to what is happening around the globe.

At the same time pros developed, the cons appeared just as fast. Social media today should be used only after reading a few warning signs. Issues like body dysmorphia, eating disorders are more and more common every day.  Are these issues real? Are there inherent features to social media that can trigger it all? What are the keys to fight this?

Quest for perfection  

If one tried to sum it all in one phrase, this could be it: heavy users of social media develop, consciously or unconsciously, a need to reach perfection. But what is perfection? What are the parameters used and who determines them?

The truth is that due to the fact that social media has become a main source of income for millions of influencers, they are the ones that set the beauty parameters. Everyone wants to be them, everyone wants their lifestyle.

We should keep in mind that what we see on social media is only a mere 10%, at best, of what these influencers really do. However, the consequences of just taking a peek at these accounts are major. And, definitely, nobody thinks influencers purposefully want to harm their followers’ psych. But the lack of commitment in showing real scenes of their everyday life or at least warning the community that what they post is just for business purposes, has proven to be detrimental.

Body dysmorphia and eating disorders  

Social media have increased levels of people with both of these issues. On the one hand, research has shown that, due to a heavy use of social media and the unconscious, constant comparison it causes, two kinds of problems might arise.

On the one hand, users are dealing with major eating disorders. This is because they try to achieve a type of body that is neither realistic nor healthy as a result of constantly looking at skinny influencers’ bodies.

On the other hand, there has been an increase in the performance of cosmetic procedures of all kinds in an attempt to reach the “perfect” skin or “perfect” face type. Most people hide behind filters as they don’t recognize their own faces as true anymore.

How to fight it  

The truth is that fighting these kinds of issues generally requires the help and assistance of psychology professionals that can do a follow up on people’s treatments. Most complicated cases might also require the need of a psychiatrist. Whatever the case, it is highly advisable to ask for this kind of help in advance, whenever one feels things are getting out of hand.

Reduce on-screen time   

Now, if this is not your case and you want to tackle these issues on your own, you can start by reducing the on-screen time. Reducing the time we use social media has not only proven beneficial for mental health issues like the ones mentioned, it has also proven highly effective to increase attention and focus skills and a proper sleep routine, for example.

Do things you like   

During that time off, to fight the anxiety this abstinence might cause, focus on doing things you like and make you feel joy. Journaling, reading, or meditating are good examples. You can also resort to cooking, especially if you are starting to notice you don’t feel fully comfortable with your body. However contradictory this might sound, it is important that you notice that healthy food like a shrimp salad cannot be harmful in any way for your body or your mind. Here is a recipe you can follow if you want to take the first step:

Meet your loved ones   

It is important that you remember the people you follow are not your people. Leave social media behind for a while and meet those people you know want the best for you and will help you get it. Use this time to talk to them, connect with the present and, if necessary, reach out to them and ask for whatever kind of help you need.

Social media life is not real life   

Repeat that as a mantra and remember you are just as love-worthy, precious and beautiful as anyone else. Social media can be really useful when used properly. If you notice it is not doing you any good, then why keep it in your life?

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