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Girls receive so many messages telling them to prove their hotness through media, and these messages are reinforced by peers and rarely combated by parents. Youth grow up marinating in sexualized imagery without even being conscious of it. Sexualization is when you take something that is not overtly sexual and you make it sexy. For example, we do this a lot with food: Carls Jr. commercials, anyone? And we certainly do this with girls through making their toys and clothes sexy but not boys’. ...

Have you ever heard the saying “paint yourself in a positive light?” It means make yourself look good… I MEAN REALLY GOOD! And for many on social media, this concept has become so amplified that it actually means TRY TO LOOK PERFECT! Everybody is doing it, right? It’s mind-blowing the measures people will go to in an effort to paint themselves in a positive light. Some take 100 selfies to try to find that ONE perfect picture. Some use an editing app to try to create a perfect, flawless smile and body. Some agonize over the perfect caption to promote the perfect friend group. Some work tirelessly to capture the perfect, relaxed look on that perfect eat-your-heart-out-bet-you-wish-you-were-here vacation.

It’s EXHAUSTING trying to...

Our phones allow us to find “the best,” “the funniest,” “the craziest,” as we constantly search for something better or funnier in the endless supply of material on the Internet. But have you ever thought about how much time you spend looking for more stuff ... just checking and scrolling?

When we’re constantly looking at and checking our phone, others often feel like we’re looking past them to see if someone better will show up. Have you ever felt like a third-wheel because someone was so immersed in her phone that she missed the plot twist in your conversation? Or you pour your heart out only to get the inappropriately-timed response of “that’s awful?” We all know that feeling. It can feel like your...

"It got to the point where I would scroll through my accounts and not recognize the girl in the photos; she looked pretty, happy, and popular, but she wasn’t me."

Whether loved or despised, the use of internet and social media has become an integral part of daily life for most Americans, who on average spend over eleven hours a day on virtual media. Long days of research in the office or classroom transition easily into nights of television and Netflix, phones are pulled out even just to wait in line to get coffee, and I hardly know anyone who doesn’t check their texts first thing in the morning. We have deemed this type of behavior socially normal, rather than focusing on the addictive patterns it...