S’poreans who spend over 3 hours daily on TikTok, Instagram most at risk of body image anxiety: Study

  • 3 min read
  • Aug 16, 2022

S’poreans who spend over 3 hours daily on TikTok, Instagram most at risk of body image anxiety: Study

SINGAPORE – One in six adults in Singapore are at risk of body image anxiety, with those who spend more than three hours a day on TikTok and Instagram at the highest risk, a study has found. are in danger.

The study of 2,670 people aged 16 and above, conducted by consumer research and analytics firm Milieu Insight, also found that Singaporean adults spend an average of two and a half hours on social media each day.

Video platform YouTube topped the list of social media platforms used by respondents, followed by Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, according to the findings of a study published on Wednesday (August 17).

TODAY takes a closer look at the findings:

How the study measured the risk of body image anxiety:

  • Adults aged 16 and over were given a series of online survey questions in May and June this year, covering topics such as social media use and behaviour.
  • Respondents were asked about the social media platforms they use and how often they use them per day.
  • They were also required to complete a number of psychometric tests, including one called the Assessment of Apparent Anxiety Inventory (AAI).
  • The AAI helps measure the cognitive and behavioral aspects of body image anxiety and asks questions such as how much a person compares their appearance to others, and how often they avoid people because of their appearance.
  • The results of this study are broadly grouped into the “healthy” group, or individuals at risk for body image anxiety, according to the AAI rating scale.

Young women are more at risk:

  • About one in six or 17% of Singapore’s adult population aged 16 and above are potentially at risk of body image anxiety.
  • About 60% of this risk group are women and 40% are men
  • Those most at risk of body image anxiety were mostly young people – 39% were aged 16-24 and 29% were aged 25-34.

Daily users of Tik Tok and Instagram are more at risk:

  • While 70 percent of respondents said they use Facebook at least once a week, 61 percent of at-risk groups use the platform often.
  • 74% of users in the at-risk group use Instagram at least once a week, compared to 63% among the healthy group.
  • Similarly, 45% of the at-risk group use TikTok at that frequency, compared to 27% of the healthy respondents.
  • The at-risk group is also more likely to name Instagram and TikTok as the social media platforms they use daily and for the longest time.

Time spent on social media and the risk of body image anxiety

  • In total, 56% of the at-risk group paid on average Three hours or more on all social media platforms per day, compared to 40 percent among the healthy group
  • Specifically, 36 percent of TikTok users in the at-risk group spent three hours or more on the platform, compared to 17 percent in the healthy group.
  • About one in five, or 19 percent, of Instagram users in the at-risk group spent three hours or more on the platform, compared to about one in eight, or 13 percent, among the healthy group.

Attitudes and influences:

  • About a third, or 34 percent, of the at-risk group were in the “suffering” range of the Cantril scale, a scale used to measure people’s attitudes toward life satisfaction and divides them into three broad categories — “suffering.” “Fighting” and “Blooming”
  • This compares to 19% of all respondents who self-reported being in the “suffering” range.
  • About half of the at-risk group said social media influencers usually influence their beliefs and purchasing decisions.
  • Less than four in 10, or 39 percent, of the at-risk group attributed such influence to Korean celebrities.
  • For the healthy group, 35% attributed this influence to social media influencers and 22% to Korean celebrities.

Why it matters:

  • The report noted that people at risk of body image anxiety are statistically less likely to use Facebook
  • However, the study noted that this may be due to the higher average age of Facebook users compared to Instagram and TikTok.
  • “This study showed us that those who over-participate in highly visual social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are statistically more likely to suffer from body image anxiety,” says Lena Teo, director of Care Singapore.
  • Stephen Treacy, CEO of Milieu Insight, said: “The results of this study show how important it is that everyone (parents, teachers, friends and even the government) play their part in helping to prevent excessive use of social media. said

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