• The LookUp Team

From FINSTAS to RINSTAS: Social Media and Its Impact on Young Women and Girls

One of the panels at the LookUp Youth 4 Youth Summit was moderated by Diana Angelini, a YoPro (a.k.a. young professional) from BlackRock, who led a lively discussion with youth panelists, Soumiya Sivasathiyanathan, Hailey Vallabh, Lena Grundhoefer, and Olivia Schultz.

Does social media make you feel different or left out? You are not alone. This unique panel convenes young women who are willing to take a stance against major corporations and tackle misogynist algorithms with the young girls who have been negatively impacted by social media. This candid conversation will empower young women and even men to look beyond how they're perceived through the lens of social media. This panel is brought to you by BlackRock's Women's Initiative Network (WIN).

This powerful panel of young women ranging from high school, college, and post-grad share their insights and research on why technology and social media disproportionately impact females with expectations of beauty and the objectification that has increased with distance learning, video conferencing, and social distancing. Less time engaged in real-time and real-life, causes all youth to spend more time looking at their own image on the screen.

Olivia Schultz from Colorado College shares her research on the impact of Zoom beautification and self-view on girls, while Lena Grundhoefer shares strategies for shifting from the curated to the real on social media. Hailey Vailbh and Soumiya Sivasathiyanathan share their insights working in STEM including the gender disparity and bias from algorithmic design and the ways it impacts mental health, especially young girls who are going on social media at younger and younger ages. The 40 minutes session concludes with the panels' below tips:

“Top Ten Tips for Freeing Girls and Women to be Their Own Best Selves

(not dictated by algorithms, filters, and comparison)

1. Limit social time to 30-60 minutes per day.

2. Set intentions and goals for life outside social media

3. Identify whether you're scrolling passively or making genuine connections

4. Get outside perspectives on the world and see the bigger picture

5. Take actions as a family

6. Create body positivity discussions

7. Normalize discussions about social media and its effects

8. FINSTAS - RINSTAS (eliminate fake, make it REAL!)

9. Use Screen Time settings

10. Educate girls about the false reality of photoshop and filters

The future is now and the future looks bright with young women leading the way!

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