Many people begin using social media in their teenage years and, because of this, it can be difficult for them to set realistic standards on body image. This can be very dangerous as studies have shown that it can lead to body and eating concerns or conditions. These concerns can include eating disorders as well as a severe negative body image. Since social media has such a clear huge impact on teenagers around the world, it begs to question how we can teach teenagers to avoid edited photos and feel more comfortable in their own skin.
This post will cover a few ways we believe can help teenagers avoid the hardships that can arise from editing their own photos or striving to be like celebrities who edit their own photos.
Remember, what you see isn't always what you get.
It is important to remember that what we see on social media is not always the truth. By informing teenagers that edited photos exist and what the reason behind them is can allow teenagers to see through some of the edited photos themselves and understand that not everything is real.
The internet is a place that is not always known for honesty and informing teenagers that this applies to photos as well is an important step. It is also important that teenagers feel supported in their experiences on social media. This means that they should potentially limit their time on social media until they are more comfortable with all of the aspects of it, especially the negative aspects.
Be selective with who you are following
When beginning to use social media, teenagers should be encouraged to limit their following to friends and family. This will allow them to get exposed to social media in a more controlled environment that will hopefully contain less edited photos.
It is also important that teenagers understand not to follow people who make them feel bad about themselves. They should understand that social media is a great place to interact and check in on friends, not a place they should be scared to go.
Focus your energy on things that make you happy
Another useful tip for teenagers getting into social media is to remind them that it is not the only way to interact with friends. Teenagers should be encouraged to continue to do the things that they love and share those experiences on social media. If you find yourself getting frustrated with social media you can always put it away and do something fun like hanging out with friends, reading, or working out.
Social media should be a place to share the things and the moments that you love and see the interests of others, not a place where negativity spreads. Teenagers should always be aware of this.
All in all, this is not a one size fits all solution. Solutions for how to deal with issues this serious are always going to be specific to the person going through it. For this reason, it is important to stay attentive to any teenagers in our lives and help them in any way we can to teach them to love themselves and love others, especially on social media. A good starting point is always to create an open dialogue with teenagers so that they know that they can come to the people in their life with anything that they are going through, whether it is related to social media stressors or anything else in life.
Please let us know any helpful tips you have found in the chat below!