Professor Assaf Discusses Social Media and Self-Perception

By Caroline Coykendall & Diana Sierra

We spoke with Professor Elise Anguizola Assaf, who has a background in communications and disability studies. She takes a special interest in mental illness and how it can be portrayed in the media. She provided us with some insight into how social media can both help and harm its users. Social media is one of the most popular forms of online activities. With over 3.6 billion people using it within the last year alone, that number is expected to increase. Since social media has become popular, it is known to cause mental strain on those who actively use it. Apps like Facebook and Instagram are known for the mental damage they can cause to young adults who constantly compare themselves to what they see online. Recently, with the rise in mental health awareness, some of these social media users have even gone as far as using social media as a way to diagnose themselves. They look to apps like TikTok and their “therapy influencers” as a gateway to discover what is wrong with them, expecting a thirty-second video to explain it all.

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