Digital media – root of problems


Exposure to digital media is causing increasing problems especially to our young generations; they are following all celebrities on social media such as Instagram, and reading further in magazines and newspapers and then trying to make themselves like them or start making comparisons between their lives and the lives of celebrities. The problem starts when they starve their bodies to look thin like them and end up with many medical problems such a bulimia.
The fact is those photographs of models in magazines and on billboards are usually photos shopped or digitally enhanced and when young girls see those images they want to look like them. Interestingly, in France this will no longer be the case because they are introducing a ban on companies photos hopping images of models in adverts and which will help to tackle misleading promotions. If any company doesn’t follow these new rules they will be fined for editing model’s bodies, unless they have indicating that the images have been digitally altered. The fine will be €37,500 (£33,000) or up to 30% of the price it took to produce the advert according to BBC reports.
According to the government it will help the younger generation to not believe images portrayed within the media and stay healthy; “exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self esteem that can impact health related behaviour” as said by health minister Marisol Touaine when the ruling was announced in May. These rulings were announced months after it was revealed that France would also ban size zero models which was then followed by big designers such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci who will also be banning size zero models.
I think it should be a global campaign, not just in France; the rise in social media has made access to these photoshopped images easier for the younger generation and is causing health issues especially with younger girls. We are trying to portray a healthy lifestyle and encourage the right diets for the younger generations but are also contradicting these messages by showing them what the media thinks “beauty” is and the idealistic body shape. For the stability of young people their mental and physical health is very important and that should be a priority too in government policies, beauty isn’t what the media portrays it as, we are all beautiful.
According to findings from a study by the Pew Research Center, frequent internet and social media users do not necessarily experience increased stress. Certainly, those who perform knowledge work are greatly aided by the expanded access to colleagues and information provided by digital media. It’s hard to imagine getting through a work day without electronic tools that provide instant connections with helpful co-workers or immediate answers to difficult questions. In this context, technology’s effect on our working lives has certainly been labour-saving as well as stress-reducing.
Beyond the work tool function, the use of digital media to build relationships can also mitigate personal stress. The positive effect emerges most strongly for women. The Pew Research analysis found, for example, that a woman who uses Twitter several times daily, who sends or receives 25 emails per day and who shares two digital pictures through a mobile phone per day scores 21% lower on a measure of stress than a woman who does not use these technologies. For men, the researchers found no relationship between psychological stress and frequent uses of social media, mobile phones or the internet more broadly. Women, it seems, not only do a better job of relationship-building in general, but also prove to be more adept than me at using digital media to maintain those connections.
Bye – until next week.