Negative Effects of Social Media on Teens

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From "thintastic" blogs to suicide stories, social media has become not only a source of conversation but a gateway to harmful suggestions that many teenagers see and believe to be allowable, when in fact the situations proposed are dangerous to those who attempt them. Statistics show that 20% of anorexic teenagers will die prematurely, and 80% of teenagers who commit suicide are depressed (South). Social media has glorified and brought to attention eating disorders, depression, and suicide among teens that might otherwise not become a statistic in these critical categories.

Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among teenagers. With 80% of teen females and 15% of teen males being or attempting to be anorexic, it is surprising that it is not higher up on the list. Anorexia is the most common negative view shown on media. On the social media site Tumblr, pro-anorexic blogs have become a popular trend to follow and many show images of models with captions reading "I want to be able to sit down and have my thighs not touch," (My Pro). The truth is, however, that the average model is 23% under their ideal weight. The average US model weighs 117 pounds and is 5'11" while the average US woman weighs 140 pounds and is only 5'4". This causes perspective to see those far too skinny as beautiful and the normal weight to seem more than it is. In a recent study when asked if they were overweight, 75% of the women answered yes and only 25% of them were. (Perfect) Social media has swayed beliefs of the past by making the thin want to be thinner and those who believe themselves to be overweight feel as if reaching their correct BMI is impossible.

Up to 80% of those who are anorexic also suffered from a major form of depression. Due...

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