How Girls Are Seeking (and Subverting) Approval Online

Common Sense Media – Caroline Knorr

It’s not a law that you have to post a selfie before, during, and after every activity. But for kids, it’s pretty much mandatory. The resulting likes, thumbs-ups, and other ratings all get tallied, both in the stark arithmetic of the Internet and in kids’ own minds. For some — especially girls — what starts as a fun way to document and share experiences can turn into an obsession about approval that can wreak havoc on self-image.

That kids have been comparing themselves to popular images in traditional media — and coming up short — is a well-researched phenomenon. But new studies are just beginning to determine the effects of social media — which is arguably more immediate and intimate — on the way kids view themselves. A Common Sense survey called Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image found that many teens who are active online fret about how they’re perceived, and that girls are particularly vulnerable. Read More