Social media has achieved huge
acclamation by connecting people all around the globe. As social networking
websites facilitates communication among people from every corner of the world,
they have also influenced their users psychologically. The ideas circulated
through social networking websites have such a strong impact that even if a user
do not endorse them explicitly but still gets considerably affected by them.
Research shows that these websites have potential to impact user’s thought
process. Photos uploaded by celebrities on social networking websites like
Facebook has the ability to change a user’s feelings about their own lives.
Recently, the trend of slim and slender models has enhanced upward social
comparison which is victimizing both men and women. People are increasingly
becoming dissatisfied with their body weights. Psychological evils like
body-shaming and hating one’s body size are spreading at appalling rate. It
emphasizes that beauty is deeply rooted in thinness and stimulate desirability
to achieve thinness even if not possible due to one’s health condition. This
situation makes the user to think them as imperfect which leads to reduced
self-worth and self-esteem. People suffering from this mental state avoid social
gatherings, follow crash dieting routines and even starve themselves for
unrealistic reduction in body weight in short period of time.
Social comparison is not only limited to body-weight/body-size comparison rather
it has contaminated almost everything that is found to be happening around us.
For instance, women see wedding pictures uploaded by a friend, relative or even
on random photography page on Facebook which urges never-ending desperation to
have royal wedding arrangements like others. They want to have everything like
others – dresses, decoration, catering, groom’s entry on white horse or
limousine, bride’s entry on a train and what not. Such trends increases
financial burden on families and even they take loans to afford all idealistic
“necessities” of life.
Interestingly, men are seen going frantic to achieve muscular appearance like
their ideal celebrity. For that purpose they opt for steroids and other harmful
drugs to get the desired results quickly in least possible time. Consequently,
they invite long-term health hazards in their lives. The non-attainability of
ideal results can lead to fierce consequences like feeling bad about oneself,
disbelief in one’s own personality attractiveness, anxiety, bad moods,
disheartenment and behavioral dysfunctions.