Is Social Media Healthy or Unhealthy?

It is important to understand how insecurities heightened by social media eventually can lead to an increase in eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia and how social media can be used as a tool to inform and educate individuals as to how to look critically as the images presented and that there are definitely times that “you should not believe your eyes.” Throughout the paper, I focused on the positive and negative aspects of social media and how they relate to eating disorders on mostly younger women. Instagram is one of the leading causes of eating disorders. Instagram influencers can sometimes encourage inappropriate behavior through their posts and the content they promote. Some products Instagram influencers promote that can be seen as encouraging unhealthy behavior include waist trainers and tummy tea. These products promote unhealthy behavior due to the fact they are focusing on ways to alter your body and lose weight to their young followers. This is so important because young women look up to Instagram influencer’s like the Kardashian’s and think it is normal and healthy to be doing these things because their role models promote it when it is not.  In addition, other ways individuals are promoting unhealthy lifestyle through Instagram is from food blogs. Being vegan has been a huge trend in recent years which can work for some people but can be a very restricting lifestyle for others. For example, a vegan food blogger named Jordan Younger was very open and famous about being vegan. Recently, she ended her blog and veganism because she felt that she was promoting an unrealistic lifestyle as a vegan when she was not eating enough food to live a healthy and balanced life. Later in the research paper, I talked about an eating disorder that has become popular in recent years known as Orthorexia. This eating disorder includes being consumed with healthy foods and living and eating perfectly all the time. This eating disorder type is so interesting because many believe it is lead by social media and mainly Instagram. Individuals get a lot of advice from Instagram on how to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. This advice is usually not from professionals but it is from Instagram influencers who have no professional background to give individuals this advice. Another trend that has been extremely popular over Instagram in the last few years is Facetune. Facetune is an app where you can alter the way you look by clicking a few buttons. This app has been so controversial in social media because some believe it is not okay to change the way you look for an Instagram post when you don’t look like that post in real life. Many Instagram influencers use Facetune and are exposed for it through Instagram pages like @celebface. The point of this Instagram page is to expose celebrities for not being honest about how they look and to show their followers they are not as perfect as they seem. Insecurities are enhanced by social media and can possibly lead to an increase in eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Sometimes social media can be positive through informing and educating individuals to realize not everyone and everything is as perfect as it seems. Some ways to reduce the amount of time spent on social media include blocking toxic people and spending time with people who support and care for you.

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