The toxic effect of social media on dating

Today 27% of young adults report using online dating sites, which is up 10% from 2013, due to the influx of dating apps on smartphones. Source:

Vivian Aviles, Reporter

Today’s society has been built around ideas spread through social media, and as a result, this generation has unrealistic expectations when it comes to the appearance of ones’ body.

The ideals and standards set by social media have caused a major negative impact on the mentality of all people ranging from children to adults. On apps such as Instagram, fitness models and influencers are constantly posting photos of themselves in which they fit society’s criteria for a “perfect” body.

Some users with thousands of followers accept brand deals where they promote various weight loss products or appetite suppressants, encouraging their audience to invest so they too can obtain a “perfect” body.

“Social media gives everyone a platform to post whatever they want, but it hides our true, authentic selves. With social media influencers, models with perfect bodies, and photo editing, it provokes a desire to want to look like them, even though their look is unattainable,” said junior Robert Mayor, Div. 117.

Social media has led many to be insecure about how they look like, but it has also had a hand in the culture of body shaming. Most people think body shaming is just degrading comments towards bigger people, but thinner people experience it as well.

No matter what somebody looks like, body shaming is never okay. Unfortunately, social media has made body shaming an even bigger problem by showcasing what people believe bodies should look like, as well as providing an outlet that can be used to criticize the external appearance of others.

“Social media gives body shaming an easy platform to feed on by hiding authenticity and allowing individuals to hide their insecurities but shame other people for theirs. It also allows people to embrace their body which some people dislike, so they try to bring down the confidence of others by placing judgment on someone’s size,” said Mayor.

Not only does social media give people everywhere a chance to share their hurtful comments and opinions towards people who don’t meet society’s standards, but it also gives companies an idea of what the public likes. Then, companies use this consensus to choose who will be used to advertise their items.

Victoria’s Secret (VS), for example, chooses women like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid to model their clothing. When people began to point out the fact that there was a lack of plus-sized models within the VS Fashion Show, the company responded by saying that plus-sized models can’t “sell the fantasy.”

“I do think that diversity within our society has gotten better, but we still need a lot of improvement when it comes to social media including all body types and erasing standards that are considered “beautiful.” Companies and brands should include people of different sizes when showcasing their products,” said Mayor.

Social media tells people what a body should be, and when someone doesn’t live up to these factors, it can cause deep damage within them.

“Social media sets the standard for what everyone is supposed to look like, and it makes people feel as if they need to look that way. Sometimes I don’t care that I don’t look like what I’m “supposed” to, but other times I begin feeling really insecure,” said junior Madison Rodriguez, Div. 137.

Because of social platforms, immense pressure is put onto many individuals, and they feel the heat in their everyday life.

“I feel pressure to look a certain way. We’re so used to showcasing ourselves as “perfect” on social media, and we feel obligated to reflect that as in real life as much as possible,” said Mayor

Social media has an extremely unhealthy effect on the way people view their bodies. It has caused many to compare themselves to the girls or guys that they see on their phones, and this leaves people chasing after a body that is impossible to achieve.