Physical Wellness: Facebook, Friend or Foe?

One of my good friends is out in Delaware cranking out a PhD in psych and one of her profs that she works with studies eating disorders. One day, on Facebook of all places, she posted this article about how Facebook could be linked to dissatisfaction with your body, comparative behaviors, disordered thoughts regarding food, and even eating disorders. Now my eating disorders have all spiraled out of control from social media but from being on message boards and following blogs that promoted this kind of behavior. But I can also distinctly remember when a class member started to noticeably lose weight and rumors started to swirl around that she was only eating x amount of calories a day and I started comparing my diet to what her’s “was” and trying to eat less than her. This wasn’t even a girl that I spoke to but I was friends with her on Facebook because we had gone to school together for so long…

The article speaks about how we always put our best foot forward on social media. Sure, there are some people that find their lives humorous and don’t mind poking fun at unflattering pictures taken of them or owning up to eating that bag of candy and binge watching a show on Netflix. But for the most part, we put our best lives forward. I don’t share with the world when I have binged and purged. But I sure have no problem sharing when I have run a half marathon. I don’t put pictures up that I think I look fat or unattractive.

I have tossed this theory around before that being on Facebook too much where people put their best of their best up there can lead to you comparing your life to someone else’s. It can start to make you feel like your life isn’t as great or perfect as theirs. That you aren’t as accomplished, you aren’t as loved, you aren’t as valued as someone else. Spending too much time on social media can sometimes lead to a more empty life, even if it is filled with likes, comments, retweets, reblogs, favorites…

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