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Susan Cowden, MS

Survey Links Facebook Use to Negative Body Image

By April 10, 2012

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The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt sponsored and has released the results of a national (U.S.) survey of Facebook users to determine how it affects their body image and self esteem.  The online survey was of 600 Facebook users from age 16-40 and showed that:

  • 75% of those surveyed are unhappy with their body
  • 51% of those surveyed said that Facebook makes them feel more conscious of their body and weight
  • 51% of those surveyed find themselves comparing their own bodies with those of friends
  • 32% of those surveyed report that they feel sad when looking at friends' photos

These results are consistent with those released from another survey by the University of Haifa in Israel that linked Facebook use to eating disorders in adolescents.  Unfortunately, it seems that the immediate access to photographs and the need to always be 'camera ready' is impacting users of Facebook in a negative way.

Do you believe that Facebook affects how you view yourself? Do you feel pressure to always look 'camera ready' in case a photo ends up online?

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April 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm
(1) Donna says:

I don’t use Facebook; but, I wonder, if so many people have such negative views of themselves, just from using Facebook, why would they continue using it?

April 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(2) B says:

Donna, I think the positive gratification that people get from using Facebook outweigh any of the negatives. People get instant grafitication and accololades when people “like” their status update or “like” or comment on their photos. These feelings boost them up!

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