Cyberbullying, Social Media & Fitness Selfies: An Evolutionary Perspective
MetadataShow full item record
The general goal of the current research was to explore how social media influences a variety of aspects of young adults’ lives, including motivation to be physically fit, and bullying behaviors. The specific objectives were to investigate the link amongst selfie, social media use, and cyberbullying in relation to physical fitness through the lens of evolutionary psychology. Brock University students (N = 83, 73.5% female) between the ages of 17 and 25 were recruited who have had some level of experience with fitness or living an active lifestyle. Participants completed self-report measures based on bullying/victimization experiences, cyberbullying, personality, narcissism, self-esteem, selfie use, physical activity, and self-body image. Based on evolutionary principles, it was hypothesized that those who post selfies are more likely to have been previously victimized. It was also hypothesized that males would have a stronger drive towards being physically fit, females would be more likely to be positively motivated to work out after viewing fitness selfies, and males would be more likely to view their peers as competitors and to have higher levels of jealousy. The results suggest that females were more likely to be motivated when viewing these fitness selfies, but also were more likely to be jealous of the types of body shapes posted. There was little effect on males in regards to viewing fitness selfies, suggesting that females are overall more engaged and influenced by this type of social media. The overall implications of the study suggest that technology and social media do encompass positive and beneficial qualities. Furthermore, social media should be engaged judiciously to educate young people about its positive use as well as inform them about the possible negative impacts of the digital world.