It is easy to overlook the negative effects social media has on the human body. The physical effects are not as obvious as the mental ones, but as technology advances, the side effects of social media will become more evident. First and foremost, the digital screens that are eyes look at more than one hundred times a day are very bad for the retina of the eye. As our lives are increasingly spent staring at phones, laptops and televisions, Young Pyo Jang from Kyung Hee University, Jong Soon Kang from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and their team have now investigated the effect of low intensity blue light on retinal cells. They found that short wavelength blue light doubles the death rate in human retinal cells compared with cells kept in the dark.The bright light from cell phones negatively react with human circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm, also known as the body’s biological clock, is what tells the human body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. Since night and day are associated with darkness and brightness, when our eyes are being constantly exposed to bright light at night time (ie; when you are on your phone at night time) the body’s natural cycle starts to associate the brightness with being awake and it becomes harder for the body to sleep and relax at night. Sleep plays a major role in the teenage years, and teenagers will fail without it. During sleep the mind retains informations, the body fights bacteria, regenerates, and does so many things necessary for our survival. Not getting enough sleep weakens the immune system, weakens energy levels, and reduces the overall quality of life.
Another way social media affects teenagers physically is that it deteriorates their self image and self esteem. Social media creates the “ideal” body, style, and life that everyone should have. Teenagers face an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, and be a certain way. The media glorifies tiny waists and thigh gaps. This encourages diseases like anorexia and bulimia. Visual platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat deliver the tools that allow teens to earn approval for their appearance and compare themselves to others. The most vulnerable users, researchers say, are the ones who spend most of their time posting, commenting on and comparing themselves to photos. One study found that female college students who did this on Facebook were more likely to link their self-worth to their looks. Interestingly, while girls report more body image disturbance and disordered eating than boys—studies have shown both can be equally damaged by social media. Because of apps, teenagers now have the power to alter their bodies in pictures in a way that’s practically on par with makeup and other beauty products. Teens can cover up pimples, whiten teeth and even airbrush with the swipe of a finger, curating their own image to become prettier, thinner and hotter. The negative self image that social media makes teenagers have has led to an increase amount in suicide, depression, and anxiety. It’s not easy to live in a world where everyone is constantly trying to be someone other than themselves.