Skip to Main Content

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

By Ella Burton

Major Findings From This Research

Major Take Aways

  • Social media can cause mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, body dysphoria and more.
  • The experiment consisted of instagram pictures, some that were original and others that were retouched. “Results showed that exposure to manipulation of Instagram photos directly led to lower body image”(Kleemans, Daalmans, Carbaat, Anschutz)
  • Now in the US alone, there are over 3 million cases of body dysphoria diagnosed in the past year.
  • “Social interactions is important for human well being, Multiple studies prove that people thrive when they have strong positive relatiopnships with other people
  • Today teens spend more time interacting with eachother through a screen then they do face to face.
  • Various studies show that girls with a higher social media interaction are more prone to depression while those who either evenly desperse the two forms of interaction or use their social platforms less have very minor cases of depression or even none at all. (Thapa)
  • 65% of posts you see on social media are not true nor real and on top of that almost everything that our peers post are only the positive things in their life.
  • Instagram and other imaged based social media sites, put forth an endles stream of perfect bodies. And it really triggers this mental state thats called compare and despare.”
  • We love comparing our lives to others.

  • The feeling of defeat or self doubt when experiencing social rejection comes from the orbitofrontal cortex and has recently been found that in teenage girls especially, there is a source of stronger activity coming from the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex.

Research Advice and Reflection

Advice for future researchers:

     In my research, I found it helpful to keep track of my findings, such as helpful websites with their MLA citation, annotation, and a link attached all in one spot. This was very beneficial to my research process because then that way when looking for certain information you know exactly where it will be instead of playing a guessing game about which link is which. Trust me when I say that the more work you put into your research, in the beginning, it truly makes it so much easier when times become more stressful. I also highly recommend doing most of your research on either google scholar or the SVC library. I never found an unreliable source there, If you are looking for reliable videos on your topic of research I recommend looking for some TED X videos.

Reflection on research experience:

  1. I believe my research went pretty good, It was a little stressful in the beginning while still learning to how to find reliable sources.
  2. I got hung up trying to find reacher that I personally understood on the brain. It looks lots of research and learning to grasp a solid knowledge on how the brain interacts with social media. I also found it difficult to learn how to find reliable sources in the beginning.
  3. I personally really liked learning about biases. it was quite helpful when doing my research as well. Most of the time when researching I don't normally think about how some people could be biased to their topic and write without even realizing it. so being aware of that also helps me pick and choose which sources were reliable.
  4. I feel as though as a teenage girl who interacts with social media daily I have a different view on the topic than I started. I now understand more about how Instagram and other photo-based apps can really get in our heads and make us feel like we are less and create this false reality.
  5. At the beginning of my research, I was very excited to research the neurology of the brain with social media and how social media affect the neural pathways which are also known as neurons. But this turned out to be my least favorite part, there is little research papers on just even a general understanding of the brain which made it hard for me to build a strong general foundation on the topic. it was a lot more research and time than intended.
All Content CC-BY.