My daughter is a high achiever when it comes to her grades. I wish I could say the same for her room but I’ll take grades first any day. What I find interesting is that while she constantly calls me from college to let me know what she got on her most recent test and how she’s freaking out that she’s going to fail the next test, my boys never call me to talk about their grades.
According to the New York Times, boys are just as happy to be playing video games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty and letting their grades slide while girls are losing sleep, stressing out and even going so far as cutting to alleviate anxiety.
This difference in anxiety does not stop with grades and academic achievements. Girls have just as much anxiety when it comes to social media as well….even more so than boys…..
It all starts with appearance…….
“Some research has shown that in adolescence, girls tend to become more dissatisfied with their bodies, whereas boys tend to become more satisfied with their bodies. Another factor has to do with differences in how girls and boys use social media. A girl is much more likely than a boy to post a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit, while the boy is more likely to post a photo where the emphasis is on something he has done rather than on how he looks.”
I can’t even begin to tell you how many retakes I have had to take of my daughter until she felt that she looked her best in a photo.
Girls tend to take the amount of likes, shares and comments more personally than boys because they associate it with how they look. Guys just don’t care as much. Take a pic and they are off to the next thing. They don’t tend to worry if the angle makes them look fat or if a pimple is visible in the photo.
The second reason is, boys tend to overestimate how interesting their own life is. What was a just a gathering of friends usually turns out to be an “epic” party for the boys. Girls will downplay their time together always seeking the next event that could be “epic”.
The third reason girls have more social media anxiety than boys is that” the average boy is likely to spend more time playing video games than Photoshopping his selfie for Instagram. And in video games, unlike social media, everybody truly can be a winner, eventually.”
So why this difference? Surely boys and girls grow out of these patterns as they get older right? Sometimes. Boys grow up to be men but then perhaps as they grow out of Grand Theft Auto they are on LinkedIn to connect with other like minded business men. Girls on the other hand, grow up and become mothers and social media becomes a source of information, relationship, and connection because they are stuck at home with a new baby and are not getting the social kudos they need.
As a mom, I feel like my life’s work has been about raising kids. So my self esteem is not necessarily tied to how I look anymore as much as it is about being a good mom. Men, on the other hand, seem to become more dependent on social media for their self esteem when it comes to their primary means of identity which is tied to their career. Like how many contacts they have on Linked In and finding jobs through social media channels.
Hence the old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And unfortunately, most people want who they know to think they look pretty good!