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Toxic social media: Not picture perfect

The fall-out from social media toxic messaging continues.
The fall-out from social media toxic messaging continues.(Ivanhoe Newswire)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:24 AM CDT
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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) - The fall-out from social media toxic messaging continues. As reported this past fall, Facebook, now Meta, was aware that Instagram was harmful to young people. Mental health and body image disorders are both linked to social media.

Now parents are picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what to do next. One mother and her daughter whose severe anorexia was triggered by these apps.

TikTok challenges drive teens to feel not picture perfect. One of those teens was Mariam Fawzi. It became a huge trigger for Mariam.

Mariam said, “Like the face symmetry challenge or the jawline challenge.”

It triggered her battle with anorexia. At its lowest, Mariam’s weight plunged to seventy-four pounds, and her heart stopped beating twice.

Neveen Radwan, Mariam’s mother explained, “When she was admitted, she was very, very sick. She was literally on death’s door.”

Mariam is one of the countless teens who have been affected by toxic images on social media.

Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist told Ivanhoe, “They’re engaging in content when it’s toxic that’s telling them they’re not enough.”

Radwan said, “I don’t believe that eating disorders are caused by social media, but they’re absolutely triggered by them.”

Radwan, like other parents, is now figuring out what to do about her child using social media. Dr. Manly says the key is communication.

Manly tells parents, “Stay really attentive to how much time your child is spending on social media. Have very clear limits. And pay attention to unusual mood fluctuations.”

For now, Radwan is playing it safe and keeping Mariam away from social media.

Mariam said, “Toxic TikTok trends shouldn’t define who you are.”

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