The main idea I plan to focus on for my project is body image and self esteem (these two topics are very closely related and it seemed natural that they’d go hand in hand.) The argument of the project I guess you could say is that preteens, teenagers, and even young adults self esteem and body image of themselves is distorted today due to new media and social media. The easy access to pictures of celebrities, reading about how “great” everyone else life appears to seem compared to their own among other factors are some of the leading causes of low self esteem and poor body image in today’s young generation.
Jenkins touches on this topic briefly during one of his blogs in a conversation with Katie Davis, who wrote the book The App Generation. One quote I particularly like is how it’s stated that
“technology is both a burden and a blessing, it’s not either-or, but this-and-that.”
The rest of this section of the blog then goes on to continue talking about how some social media sites have in fact been proven to cause lower self-esteem and the exposure to other peoples looks and body types can contribute to poor self body image as well. If you want to read more on the article check it out here. You can find this particular information under the October 17, 2014 date!
The main theoretical approach to focus on with this topic in particular seems to be audience and possibly participatory culture, because with out it everyone wouldn’t necessarily know whats going in the lives of 200 other people (like they do with Facebook) and the desire or feeling like they need to have an “amazing life” like someone on their newsfeed or be skinnier like the person on their instagram probably wouldn’t be a big deal. The audience is logical because the audience are the young people being affected by what they seem on their newsfeed, timelines, instagrams etc. or what kind of feedback their getting from these sites (alot of likes, positive/negative comments.) All of these things play in a role into an individuals self-esteem and how they perceive themselves and this is causing them to change the way they think about themselves.
I think that this is an important subject related to new media because body image and self-esteem while it’s a well known issue, usually it isn’t related to or linked with SOCIAL MEDIA. Generally, people often tie it in with what people see on T.V, or in magazines and tell young people who have these issues that what they see on the t.v screen and in magazines isn’t real. Hoewever, nowadays people see others who have wonderful houses, cars, bodies, etc right there on the facebook page, twitter feed, instagram, tumblr, the list of sites goes on. This makes the “material things and perfect body image” that they were once told was “fake” very real because people they know have these things, it isn’t just celebrities anymore.