75% Facebook users are unhappy with their body image

75% Facebook users are unhappy with their body image

March 30, 2012:

A new survey conducted by the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt claims that the Facebook is focusing way too much on the body weight and image of its users. After analytically studying the social media site, the mental health institute discovered that about 75% of the Facebook users were not happy with their bodies. Out of the 75%, 51% of the users said that the Facebook makes them feel more conscious about their overall body image.

To put forth facts to their research, the researchers cited some comments like – “l look so fat in that photo – untag me,” “You look so skinny, I could never wear those jeans!” “Did you see how much weight Greg gained?” “You don’t even look like you had a baby!”

These researchers are asking the users to be thoughtful of their use of the social site as well as the impact it may have on them. “Facebook is making it easier for people to spend more time and energy criticizing their own bodies and wishing they looked like someone else,” said Dr. Harry Brandt, director at the Center of the Sheppard Pratt. “In this age of modern technology and constant access to smart phones and the Internet, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to remove themselves from images and other triggers that promote negative body image, low self-esteem and may ultimately contribute to eating disorders.”

facebook user dull body image

The survey conducted on 600 users aged between 16 and 40 helped in finding that the teens as well as the adults are affected by the negative attributes like shaming, body comparing and self-criticising on Facebook. The research also found that as the users spend lot of time on Facebook, they tend to spend plenty of time on analysing their body. Thus, the research points out that Facebook is promoting “camera ready” mentality among the ordinary people. Moreover, the apps like the Timeline are making tracking of body weight changes convenient. And since, the users are unhappy with their own body, they are getting indulged in negative behaviours and also developing negative feeling about their body.

Raising concerns on this behaviour of the Facebook users, Dr. Steven Crawford, associate director at the center said, “When people become more concerned with the image they project online and less concerned with holistic markers of health in real life, their body image may suffer and they may even turn, or return, to harmful fad diets or dangerous weight-control behaviors. We hope the results of this survey encourage people to really look at how their online behavior affects their outlook, and we caution them against being overly critical of their own bodies or other people’s bodies while on Facebook and other social networking sites.”

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