Vogue: What Is Social Media Doing to Our Concept of Pregnancy?

Vogue: What Is Social Media Doing to Our Concept of Pregnancy?. “There is a body of research showing that engagement with Instagram momfluencers is associated with an increase anxiety in a subset of women who already tend towards social comparison and those who have low self-esteem. There’s nothing magical about social media, per se — researchers have long found that comparing ourselves to unattainable ideals makes us feel bad. But the ubiquity of imagery is new; we are now bombarded with media in a way that has no precedent.”

VoxEU: Social media and mental health

VoxEU: Social media and mental health . “Using the gradual expansion of the website across US colleges as a natural experiment, the authors find that students were more likely to report that mental health issues negatively affected their academic performance after Facebook was introduced at their college, with evidence suggesting that the effects operated through unfavourable social comparison.”

TechCrunch: Is social media (re)traumatizing you?

TechCrunch: Is social media (re)traumatizing you? . “What happens when you’re out of content to scroll through and react to on the internet? What’s there to keep you engaged whether the content makes you angry, sad, happy or all of the above at once? What can a company like Facebook, Google or Twitter do to keep their hooks in so you keep coming back like a zombie begging for more? A new feature? An algorithm tweak? Nope. It all comes back to you. You’re the one who’s going to keep you engaged when there isn’t enough out there to rope you back in. Not only are these companies making us chase our own tails, and by design I might add, it might be doing actual damage to our psyche. That’s what has happened to mine, and it took me quite a while to realize it.”

Penn State: College students’ sense of belonging related to mental health during pandemic

Penn State: College students’ sense of belonging related to mental health during pandemic. “Among the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the higher education community, one of the most serious is arguably the toll on college students’ mental health. Penn State researchers have found that students’ sense of belongingness in a higher education institution not only has an impact on their academic performance but might also buffer them against anxiety and depression amid the global pandemic and a renewed racial awareness in the country.”

Research: How AR Filters Impact People’s Self-Image (Harvard Business Review)

Harvard Business Review: Research: How AR Filters Impact People’s Self-Image. “New research suggests that AR apps designed to let customers virtually try on makeup or other products can have a significant, negative impact on psychological wellbeing. Moreover, that impact can vary widely depending on the customer. While people with lower baseline levels of self-esteem may feel better about themselves after using an AR filter, those with higher pre-existing self-esteem are more likely to feel worse about themselves after using AR.”

CNN: This holiday, let’s stop this social media pretending

CNN: This holiday, let’s stop this social media pretending. “This holiday season, I have a simple wish. Innovators gave us great digital tools to smooth out wrinkles and erase blemishes. We can lighten and brighten every snapshot and social media can give us powerful ways to connect with friends and family near and far. But we don’t need a photo filter for real life. Real life is messy. In fact, that’s what makes it interesting, challenging and fun. So starting in 2022, can’t we end the great pretend and share who we really are?”

Washington Post: For teens, navigating the mental health pitfalls of Instagram is part of everyday life

Washington Post: For teens, navigating the mental health pitfalls of Instagram is part of everyday life. “Danielle Wagstaff, a lecturer in psychology at Federation University in Australia, co-authored a 2019 paper linking Instagram use with adverse mental health symptoms in women…. But teens are savvy media consumers and they’re coming to their own conclusions about the apps that expand their worlds and pricks at their brains. Teens say they understand how the algorithm works, and they’re doing their best to blunt its effects.”

The Guardian: This AI-powered app will tell you if you’re beautiful – and reinforce biases, too

The Guardian: This AI-powered app will tell you if you’re beautiful – and reinforce biases, too. “Want to shatter your self-esteem in under five seconds? There’s an app for that! A startup called Qoves has developed an AI-powered beauty assessment tool that tells you how attractive you are. The free version spits out a list of your ‘predicted flaws’ and explains what sort of surgical interventions and expensive serums are needed to ‘fix’ you.” You’re wonderful just the way you are.

Mashable: How cosmetic glitter improved my self-confidence on Zoom calls

Mashable: How cosmetic glitter improved my self-confidence on Zoom calls. “I’ll be honest: It’s 2020 and I feel like shit. My clothes are tight. I never feel clean. The family couch and I have developed an identical, yet unidentifiable smell. Things are dire for me and my self-esteem right now — and unless those vaccines start moving a whole lot faster, things are going to stay dire for a while. So thank god for those iridescent discs I sometimes glue to my face, the tiny scraps of plastic that have been keeping me together in these difficult, socially distant times.”

TNW: Beauty is in the app of the beholder

TNW: Beauty is in the app of the beholder. “There has long been whispers about phone cameras secretly post-processing your selfies to make you ‘more beautiful,’ with the iPhone XS ‘Beautygate’ scandal perhaps being the most notorious instance of this trend. Critics have argued such automated edits fundamentally cultivate a culture of unobtainable beauty standards, which in turn leads to more extreme urges to manipulate our image — there are plenty of examples of pushing this beyond the norm in the popular Instagram versus Reality subreddit.”

The Verge: TikTok is cracking down on weight loss ads that promote ‘harmful’ body images

The Verge: TikTok is cracking down on weight loss ads that promote ‘harmful’ body images. “TikTok is putting new restrictions on weight loss ads as the app increasingly comes under criticism for promoting dangerous diets. The new policy bans ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements. It also puts increased restrictions on other weight loss-related ads, like limiting ads for ‘weight management products’ to users over 18 years old and not allowing those ads to ‘promote a negative body image or negative relationship with food.’”

University of Texas at Austin: Getting Fewer ‘Likes’ on Social Media Elicits Emotional Distress Among Adolescents

University of Texas at Austin: Getting Fewer ‘Likes’ on Social Media Elicits Emotional Distress Among Adolescents. “Study participants helped test drive a new program that allowed them to create a profile and interact with same-age peers by viewing and ‘liking’ one another’s profiles. Likes received were tallied, and a ranking of the various profiles displayed them in order of most to least liked. In actuality, likes were assigned by computer scripts. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either few likes or many likes relative to the other displayed profiles. In a post-task questionnaire, students in the fewer likes group reported more feelings of rejections and other negative emotions than those who received more likes.”