Eating Disorders and Facebook, Social Media

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Believe it or not there was actually a time when Facebook didn’t exist. I remember it well, and yes perhaps that makes me a bit prehistoric, but it’s true. People actually did survive, and in all honesty I think were a lot happier. Although Facebook has taken social media above and beyond what anybody ever thought, I also believe it has caused a lot of people major problems.

Whether you choose to expose yourself on Facebook is your responsibility, but at what price?  There is no such thing as “none of your business” if you are on Facebook. Although privacy settings have gotten a lot better, most people still put a lot of their stuff out there. Lets face it, Facebook is all about image. It wouldn’t exist without the visualization factor. If  Facebook didn’t have pictures, nobody would be on it.   When the movie the Social Network came out, it was pretty eye-opening to me that the whole concept basically started as a game where guys were comparing women to other women on a College Campus based on their attractiveness.  To some extent the competitive factor hasn’t gone down. If you are having self-esteem issues, body image issues, etc, other peoples pages can spark some major feelings of unworthiness. Whoever said life is not a popularity contest wasn’t on Facebook. It’s not enough that we as women are having to compare ourselves to the slew of models and actresses who seem to have the perfect lives and perfect bodies. Now we are comparing ourselves to friends we have never met, or ones we already have.   For anybody who has body image issues especially those with eating disorders it can trigger feelings of having to appear thinner or more attractive. I know a lot of girls who are suffering with this disease pretty badly right now. They are posting pictures of their emaciated bodies up for people to see, which in turn triggers other girls who are starving themselves to get jealous and competitive. They change their names to Anna’s and Mia’s and have started using Facebook as a breeding ground for their disorder and a lot of other peoples.   I see posts by others bragging about how much they exercised, that they purged, or that they didn’t eat. It’s really just a total indication of how sick they are in their Eating Disorder. Anybody with low self-esteem is going to tend to have a more negative viewpoint about life. If they see other people happy or successful it makes them feel worse about themselves.   I will be the first person to tell you that I spend a lot of time on Facebook, but in all honesty for all the right reasons. I use it as an opportunity to try to fight this disease, and try to encourage women to empower themselves no matter who they are, what they weigh, or what they do. I think that if you are at the place I am at today then you can do that, but if I would have been on Facebook six years ago when I was really at my sickest it would have been a different story. I also won’t lie and say that sometimes I see girls who I think are prettier, thinner, more successful, etc. I have to catch myself not to let it start to mind eff with me and my own inner battle with my value. I thank god Facebook didn’t exist when I was so ill, or I would have really suffered looking at pictures of all my successful friends, and most likely would have just used it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself and stay sick.

I wonder sometimes what life would be like without Facebook now? I mean would people be wandering the streets shoving pictures in peoples faces screaming at them “Do you like this?…do you? you? I actually think we would all be just fine. We probably would get a lot more done and a lot more fresh air.

As with any social media site, if handled wisely Facebook can be a productive place to connect with friends and to network. It makes me very sad and a bit sick to see a lot of girls using it to fuel the fire of their disease, and I won’t hold back from telling them that they are causing harm not only to themselves but to others. I encourage them to find some treatment or get some counseling.   A day doesn’t go by that I don’t get a slew of messages asking me for advice or my help, and that is why I am grateful for Facebook. Because of my page and the Rader Program page, I get a lot of calls from girls seeking treatment and that’s pretty cool.   I know I am not the only one doing positive things with it, and that’s what I wish more people would do. If though you find it’s causing you some issues with your eating disorder, body image, or self worth, I would suggest you get off the book and put your face somewhere else that’s a lot happier and healthier. POPULAR–THE VERONICAS Eating Disorders Treatment brought to you by