We examined whether sharing photos on social networking sites and, in particular, the approach to sharing photos online were associated with internalization of a tanned ideal and appearance comparisons. Adolescents and young adults (N = 587) completed measures of social networking site use, photo activities, internalization, and appearance comparisons. Regular photo-sharers internalized a tanned ideal to a greater extent and reported engaging in more frequent appearance comparisons to people in media than participants who did not regularly share photos online. Internalization was associated with editing photos prior to posting, whereas appearance comparisons were associated with investment, measured as the concern for the quality and effort expended in selecting photos (e.g., carefully selecting a photo, taking a photo specifically for posting) and editing photos prior to posting. Future interventions to reduce the risk of skin cancer should address users’ investment in the quality of photos they share online and the desire to manipulate photos to adhere to appearance ideals.
Bibliographical noteCreative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction
and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages
- social networking site