The more time young women spend online, the worse they tend to feel about themselves.
SFU researcher Allison Carter has surveyed three thousand girls and women between the ages of 12 and 29, and has found they are more likely to experience “body dissatisfaction” if they spend more than 20 hours a week online outside of work and school.
She says dissatisfaction can result in low esteem, depression and even eating disorders.
“It’s about what defines women’s worth and it’s not our bodies, it’s also about teaching girls that there is so much more to us than just our bodies.”
Carter says young women need to pay more attention to the content they are consuming online.
“The internet is here to stay, and so we just have, I think, a responsibility in helping girls and young women engage with it in more positive ways.”
Carter says often what’s online is presented in the most appealing way possible and isn’t always the truth.