1. Spreading misinformation about COVID-19

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This may seem obvious. However, for some, it is not. Although history has proven that there will always be people who disregard the truth for their own gain, in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic, disregarding basic science in favor of baseless conspiracy theories has become dangerously popular. From spreading lies that vaccines cannot be trusted, to completely rejecting the notion that the disease is real at all– the rapid spread of misinformation parallels that of the virus. Due to the spread of such misinformation, 25% of eligible adults in the US chose to remain fully unvaccinated despite the CDC stating that the death rate among the vaccinated is five times lower than that of the latter. It is time for Americans to stop spreading dangerous misinformation, trust science, and follow CDC guidelines. 

  1. Photoshopping your pictures 

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Since the dawn of social media, people have been digitally altering photos. The appeal is understandable: what’s the harm of trimming your waist by a couple of inches or removing blemishes with the tap of a finger? However, photoshopping creates much more damage than previously thought because it fortifies unattainable body standards. Numerous studies have proven the intrinsic link between unrealistic body standards portrayed on social media and body dysmorphia. In a survey conducted by the Florida House Experience, 1,000 men and women were studied to understand the effect of social media on body image, and the results were clear: 87% of women and 65% of men compare their bodies to images on social media. Because these idealistic images and unrealistic proportions cause permanent damage to one’s mental health and confidence, it’s important to stop the spread of such harmful standards by not altering photos, and keeping it real. 

  1. Toxic relationships

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Although it might seem obvious not to keep being in a relationship with someone who treats you badly, studies show that one in three young people will be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Warning signs of unhealthy relationships include isolation, possessiveness, jealousy, manipulation, and criticism. Oftentimes in these relationships, one will be caught in a malicious cycle of abuse. In a relationship like this, it is critical to realize the warning signs of mistreatment, and seek help. Cites such as the domestic violence support hotline and women’s aid are fantastic resources for seeking help and advice. 

  1. Fast fashion

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With Tik Tok’s immense popularity, fashion trends created on the platform have simultaneously increased in prevalence, leading to massive companies like Shein and Forever 21 creating products following such trends. However, such fleeting trends have a downside. The constant creation of new “hot” products that are good for a week and then go out of fashion has ended in massive consequences for the environment. The fashion industry is responsible for ten percent of the carbon emissions every year, and water pollution due to microplastics. Such problems can be downsized by avoiding fast fashion brands and by limiting trend shopping. 

  1. Diet trends

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Every year, a new diet trend comes out, claiming to have a new way to shed pounds and give you the perfect body. Young, impressionable people get looped into following trends that force them to risk their health for the promise of a better body. The national eating disorder association states that 35% of dieting becomes obsessive, and up to 25% of diets can result in eating disorders. The intrinsic link between diet trends and increased risk of eating disorders is clear, and the solution to stop young children from permanently harming their health in the name of a perfect body is to stop trusting companies on social media and look to real science.

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