In contrast, those who didn't use social media at all were the least likely to feel especially motivated by their looks.
Should you really feel guilty about mastering your self-portrait?
“People who took more selfies on average (three or more every month) were more likely to rate their physical appearance as either very or extremely important compared to those who took less or none at all: over 65 percent compared to around 50 and 41 percent, respectively,” reports the study. “And extreme selfie-takers were more likely to feel better about their bodies compared to people who took fewer pictures.”
More “likes," please.
If you've ever posted a picture on social media and caught yourself frequently refreshing to see how many likes it's gotten, you're not alone. “There's actually a scientific reason why getting likes (thumbs-up or retweets) on our posts make us feel so good: dopamine,” says the study. “Getting likes can have the same chemical response as consuming alcohol or drugs. Positive responses to digital content can create the tendency to keep refilling the emotional reward cycle social media users often experience.”
Men and women who received a higher number of likes on their selfies also rated their self-esteem higher, and men who received a higher number of likes were more likely to be satisfied with their overall looks. Only women were more satisfied with their overall look when they received a more moderate number of likes.
Not getting enough likes can have the opposite effect.
In some cases, people admitted to deleting their posts if they didn't get enough likes,” the study reports.
“While women are more likely to experience the adverse effects of social media use, men who were avid social media users were roughly 15 percent more likely than women to delete posts due to a lack of likes.”
How much time people spent online changed the way they rated the importance of their appearance. How much time you spend scrolling through Instagram and Facebook can also have a profound impact on exactly which parts of your body you're more likely to be dissatisfied with.
“Men and women who spent very little time on social media on a daily basis were the most self-conscious about their muscles, face, and height,” the study says. “Respondents who spent some time (between one and two hours daily) plugged into social media were more concerned about their hair, legs, and skin.
“People who spent three or more hours on social media each day wanted to most change their legs and teeth. Legs also ranked for people who took an excessive number of selfies every month. Despite the popularization of this trend, the thigh gap is one of the most unrealistic body image standards some women still aim to achieve.”
Credit: Kim Kardashian West/Instagram
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