Drawing on existentialist philosophy, cultural analysis, and media theory, I study the fitness culture on photo-based social media. The phenomenon is also used as an illustrative example of a broader issue surrounding the medium in general. A central aspect of the philosophical analysis is the role of the medium in promoting a certain type of human communication characterized by narcissistic expressions. This is exacerbated within the popular and normative fitness culture, which, due to its natural focus on the body, has legitimized and normalized a self-sexualizing exhibitionism. This development is set against the backdrop of a skyrocketing increase in mental health issues among younger people, especially girls/young women, who are also overrepresented as a group on image-based social media in general and as representatives of the studied behavior in particular. Increasingly, research now indicates a correlation between social media and the alarming trend in young people's mental health across the Western world. In light of this, a deeper understanding of the mediums influence is of central societal relevance.

The dissertation work has deepened my interest in the impact of the dominant communication media on societal development (norms, values, behaviors). We are still early in our understanding of the social and psychological impact that the communication revolution represented by social media has had. By integrating the latest empirical research with innovative philosophical perspectives, the necessary understanding can be created to approach the challenges in a more insightful way.