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Student Research Guide WQ23/ Impact of Social Media on Girls and Women

By Ella Burton

What is this Guide for?


How social media is affecting teenage girls body concepts, relationships, and neural pathways.

This is a student created research guide for English 102 & Library 201 Learning community

     In this guide you will find valuable information relating to the topic of social media affecting girls in various negative ways. Most information will be compared to instant due to its large amount of teenage users and it being on of the most commonly used photo and video based social medias world wide.


The research thesis is...  

     Social media is having a negative impact on teenage girls by changing their body concepts, the way they build relationships offline, and even altering their neural pathways.


The research questions are:

1. How has social media altered the way teenage girls build relationships?

2. Is social media creating a downfall in teenage girls mental health?

3. Why is this happening exactly? How does something that only exists on a device's screen affect our brains so much?


     Today teens around the US spend more than three hours daily on social media alone. These three ours of scrolling and swiping though their feeds and reading texts that could cause them to compare and despair is quite harmful to their mental state. This research paper will reflect on information relating to teenage girls usage of social media negatively affecting their body concepts, their way in building relationships offline, and even causing change in their neural pathways. Due to research found in investigation we can conclude that social media has brought good into our world but at the end of the day we must take it with a grain of salt. Instagram and all other photo and video based social medias have been the biggest instigator to the rise of body dysphoria, low self esteem in specifically girls with their body image, and even with rise in depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and even suicide. Implications would be that more research is needed to be done on the neurology of the situation, especially in a simpler form in order to educate everyone properly

the photo above is from a website that I used to do research for my paper, the information gathered talked about social medias affects on girls both mentally and physically.

Jazeera, Al. "Social Media Use Linked to Depression in Teens: Study." PanARMENIAN.Net, 19 July 2019


Background Information

    Social media has been around for the past 40 years and is only continuing to grow. This source of online communication and interaction was originally used as a way to interact and stay connected with family and friends. As of today, social media is commonly used day by day at a constant rate around the world. Social media is commonly defined as an application for users around the globe to create and share content or to just participate in social networking, which is the use of applications to interact with others with similar interests of oneself. Although the majority of the world uses social media on a regular base, the majority of users are women which makes sense due to the rise of body dysphoria, depression, and anxiety in women.


     In the video below, Mbevi talked about the struggles our teens and youth face while interacting with social media. She mentions the struggles of social comparison, fomo. and so many other games and tricks social media casts upon our minds.

Mbevi, Katana, director. Impact of Social Media on Youth. YouTube, 14 Jan. 2020

All Content CC-BY.