You may not be too surprised to find out that spending time on Facebook is linked to thoughts about our bodies and the bodies of our friends. But what exactly is the connection? Find out from our new study published online in the journal Women & Health, and co-authored by me, my good friend and fellow Mizzou alum Dr Yusuf Kalyango Jr and my former master’s student at University of Iowa Ellen Paasch.
How did this study come about? It’s an interesting story. Ellen came up with the idea while she was taking my class Media & Health at University of Iowa. She did a small pilot study for the class and afterwards I offered her to work together and complete a proper survey with a much larger sample. Then Yusuf came on board and offered to study female students on his campus at Ohio University.
When I started working on this topic, I never suspected how popular it would be and how much people are interested in it. But our presentation at the International Communication Association conference in Seattle in 2014 was met with great enthusiasm and the press release about the study was picked up by dozens and dozens of newspapers, radio stations, wires and magazines around the world. In the end, the study was covered by over 140 stories in more than 20 countries in April 2014. Go to my In the Media page to see some examples of it. To this day, I get regular media requests to comment on issues of body image, social media and anything in between.