Abstract: You Are What You See, Really? - The Comparison Game

It is becoming increasingly evident that depression and negative body image exists among the adolescent population. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between social media use and body image perception. A cross-sectional design study was used with a convenience sample of three hundred adolescents from three large suburban high schools located in northeast Ohio. The modified Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a fifty-one-item question questionnaire, was given out to the students to be surveyed. The results showed that among those dissatisfied with their body, ninety-two percent use their cell phone or access social media at bedtime. Of those who were satisfied with their body, only eighty percent participated in cell phone or social media use before bedtime. There was a moderate level of body image distortion, evidenced by an unexpectedly weak correlation between BMI and perception of body weight (rho 0.609). Fifty-four percent of respondents reported a body weight perception that did not match their true BMI category. To conclude, teaching interventions focusing on the importance of when to use social media and how it can be positively implemented may lessen body image distortion and negative perceptions of self.