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What are the effects of social networking on self esteem?

According to a report from The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, daily social networking may be harmful to self esteem. When 600 Facebook users ages 16 to 40 were asked a series of questions, the answers pointed to some interesting insights:
  • 51% felt more self conscious about their appearance (body and face) after seeing photos posted online
  • 32% felt sad when they compared their photos to friends' online photos
  • 44% wished they had their friend’s body when they looked at photos online
  • 37% said they needed to change something about their body when looking at friends' photos online
  • Only 25% were happy with their body
Within this group of survey participants, some had also been tempted to engage in disordered eating behaviors because of their Facebook perceptions. With photos now living on line 24/7, susceptible individuals are at risk of developing body image issues and eating disorders. Parents and friends need to be vigilant and quickly intervene when they suspect beginning signs of depression, anxiety or an eating disorder in someone they know.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.