Our society and the society of 10 years ago are so distinctly different. We live in world where the words ‘YOLO’, ‘SWAG’, ‘likes’ and ‘Selfie’ are part of our daily vocabulary, and where social media is one of our most popular forms of entertainment and an intimate part of our lives. We, particularly as women, are known to compare ourselves to others and use the society created vision of ‘female perfection’ as a way of critiquing ourselves. Many psychiatrists and therapists alike have debated that this rise may be due to the introduction of the Selfie, which objectifies women and children alike and has led to an increased obsession with the amount of likes a picture gets. The availability of a phone with camera function in this decade has led to more of these pictures being taken and more social media activity from younger children.
We, as a society and as one people, have taken the Selfie obsession way too far, and some of us are suffering from it. From something as insignificant as a few taps of a finger on a screen, we equate that with self-worth.
Statistics have shown that as social media popularity has risen dramatically over the past few years, so too have serious mental disorders. These disorders, particularly bulimia and anorexia, are becoming more and more common in younger teenagers, particularly girls. The link between the two is strong, and the number of resultant mental illness cases is staggering. Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Hayley Van Zwanberg, of the reputable Priory Group (hospital and wellness centre) said: “Children are totally immersed in a virtual world which is damaging both to the way they see themselves and the way they perceive the real world; some young children are finding it hard to unpick reality from fantasy.” As almost all phones now have built in camera function and internet access, girls are more likely to post their photos on social media, damaging psyches everywhere and potentially contributing to the current wave of depression affecting young girls in 2016.
Celebrities are some of the world’s most notoriously ‘beautiful’ people, and as a human race we try to attain as close to perfection as possible, which these people seems to effortlessly display. These people are the textbook good-looking, and are seen as role models to the teenagers and the young women of our society. Their social Medias can gain millions of likes in one gorgeous Selfie and is seen to set the standards for others. These images also seem to represent womankind as flawless and sexy when in actuality, many have had excessive cosmetic surgery, are on restrictive diets and exercise to the extremes. The fact that impressionable women are attempting to emulate the celebrities Selfies and appearances is depressing, concerning and positively ridiculous.
From this, it can be shown that our relationship with social media has become poisonous and dangerous. Our Selfie and ‘like’ addiction is causing teenagers and young women to have low self-esteem and terrible body image issues, which has led to an increase in mental disorders. Unless we change our lifestyle soon, nothing will change and the mental illness toll will continue to rise.