What is it about social media that is so appealing?
Social media has undeniably become an essential in the lives of countless individuals, declaring itself as a necessary means to carry out everyday activities.
People feel the need or desire to Tweet, blog, post photos or create statuses to communicate thoughts and behaviors with others about almost anything.
Why is this? What is it about social media that is so consuming and demanding of a person’s attention?
It all boils down to seeking and receiving the approval and appreciation of others.
Gildin (2014, N. Pag) explains the obsession over social media stems from an individual’s obsession of gaining public approval in an online context through means of virtual “likes”, and failure to receive such likes often leads to feelings of disappointment.
So, really, it’s no secret why social media and negative body image are directly correlated, or why social media has become an obsession in the lives of so many people.
It provides the opportunity to not only display to the public who someone is, but also does so to hopefully gain positive attention and recognition from others based on what someone posts.
And when positive recognition or appreciation fails to be received, individuals feel discouraged, causing their perception of who they are and their body image to decrease.
In a broad sense, posting statuses or selfies can be risky; it is unknown how the public will react to it.
We all subtly desire the approval of others, and we undoubtedly enjoy praise, and social media websites allow for individuals to seek such praise. But to consider why it is that people are so obsessed with social media, which is usually because of reasoning which addresses an attempt to elevate body image, the obsession becomes concerning. It is alarming that virtual likes can be what determines how a person views themselves, or a certain number of retweets or Instagram comments. Social media websites have become a direct outlet for the development of body image issues and it is uncertain how much further this obsession will progress.
Gildin, Tyler. “Why are we so Obsessed with being ‘Liked?'” 2014. N. Pag. Elite Daily. Web. 2 March 2015.