An Investigation Into The Relationship Between Social Networking Sites And Photo Manipulation On Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders amongst Young Women.
Background: Social Networking Sites have become more popular than traditional media formats, consequently the advent of smartphones and front-facing cameras have enabled women to take and distribute images with ease. The combination of viewing depictions online and peer influence is a leading route on the formation of body perception and transmission of cultural ideals. Technology enables us to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct ourselves: by adding filters and manipulating images. These advances in image technology correlate to a greater internalization of the thin-ideal, body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness. Although there has been a proliferation of academic interest in recent years on beneficial and problematic implications within Social Networking Sites, little research has addressed aspects of photo manipulation online, and the influence this has upon young women. Through the use of quantitative research methods, this study will contribute to existing research by aiming to examine the relationship between photo manipulation stigmas expressed on social networking sites, with overvaluation of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Methods/Design: A quantitative research method was used to establish the laws of behaviours and understand attitudes and variables associated with social networking sites and body dissatisfaction. In a cross-sectional design, eighty young women (aged 18-29) within the students of Queen Margaret University completed questionnaires on social media use and body-related and eating concerns measures, lasting approximately thirty minutes. Independent sample t test and Regression Analysis were used to analyse and compare the results from the questionnaire. To organise and produce characteristic patterns between data variables, SPSS software was used. Hypothesis: Based on the findings in this field, the following hypotheses have been formulated: (1) Disordered eating will directly correspond with body dissatisfaction (2) Photo manipulation by individuals will correlate to body dissatisfaction (3) Social Networking Site investment will predict higher body dissatisfaction in people with pre-existing eating disorders. Discussion: This study will help gain insight and knowledge of participants attitudes and perspectives of social networking use and the relationship between photo manipulation, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. The implication of these findings can be of great importance when planning interventions to counteract problematic experiences online regarding unrealistic beauty aspirations.