Quantcast
Latest Stories

Facebook can make you fat

By

PEOPLE are said to get more affected by Facebook photos of others because these are real, un-Photoshopped photos of people they know.

We use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to virtually “connect” with people, updating each other with  regular status reports and giving (and receiving) feedback  about them.    Social networking sites readily provide us with what we personally, professionally and socially need—and everything for free.

Negative impact

However, we should also be aware of the  negative impact  of social networking in our life. Staying on those sites takes so much of your time, especially if you have no self-discipline. And notice how  painful comments affect our  thoughts and actions.

Several articles and studies worldwide have shown how social networking sites like Facebook can create a negative  perception of one’s body and weight when comparing one’s photos with the photos of friends.  Facebook users usually post  photos of themselves at their best body shape and clothes. People with self-esteem and body image issues can become easily affected by these hard-to-reach images, just like when seeing photos of models and celebrities in television, magazines and newspapers. According to mental health specialists, people get more affected by Facebook photos of others because these are real, un-Photoshopped photos of people they know, like family members and friends.

Statistics

Results of an online survey for 600 Facebook users age 16-40 conducted by the researchers of Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore show that:

  • 51 percent became more conscious of their body and weight after looking at photos of themselves;
  • 44 percent wish they had the same body or weight as a friend when checking Facebook photos;
  • 37 percent feel that they need to alter some parts of their body when they compare their bodies to their friends’;
  • 32 percent feel sad when comparing their own Facebook photos to their friends’ photos;
  • 31 percent have prevented themselves from eating specific food items, food groups or entire categories of food in an attempt to control their weight;
  • 17 percent have engaged in binge eating;
  • 12 percent have or have had an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia)
  • 7 percent have tried purging (such as vomiting in bulimia);
  • but only 25 percent are happy with their present weight.

Eighty percent of the respondents visit Facebook once a day and more than half of them log on numerous times a day.  This implies that constant Facebook use may affect one’s body image, and can lead to weight obsession and preoccupation, unhealthy dieting practices and eating disorders as results of social comparison among Facebook peers.

Both young and old can be negatively affected by constant Facebook visits.  In fact, a study this year conducted by professors at the University of Haifa shows that the more frequent an adolescent girl (average age: 14.8) spends on Facebook, the more chances of developing various eating disorders and negative body image.

How to use Facebook to avoid body image and self-esteem issues:

  • If you easily get affected by Facebook photos of your friends as they show their best life and body shapes,  take a break  and observe how it shows in your thoughts and actions.  Then make time and effort to resolve your body and weight issues  by talking to  a counselor,  friends, loved ones or someone you find comfortable sharing your concerns with.
  • Instead of social networking, engage  in  activities that will improve your body image, like exercises that can make you feel good about yourself (dancing, yoga, running) and reading self-help books that will modify your thinking.
  • Always put in mind that your own thoughts and feelings are important to your overall health. Knowing this,  you will not allow updates and photos of others to cause you more stress and negative emotions.
  • Learn to manage your time  when using Facebook. Set a schedule and just give yourself a few minutes to update your status and/or check updates you find meaningful and important to you.
  • Avoid focusing too much on physical appearance and interactions that include weight obsession, too much dieting and over-exercising. Shift your attention to positive feelings and thoughts. Say,  “Wow, you look so happy and fulfilled spending your weekend with your family.  You inspire me!” instead of,  “You look so thin and sexy in your outfit!”
  • Instead of allowing yourself to feel insecure about others’ looks and accomplishments, restructure your thoughts.  Believe  that you can always be at your best without comparing yourself to others. Better yet, be an inspiration to others.
  • Parents, be   involved in your children’s online activities.  The study conducted by the University of Haifa shows that parents who were aware of their adolescent daughters’ media usage showed more personal empowerment of their daughters, leading to a protective guard against eating disorders.

E-mail the author at mitchfelipe@gmail.com, follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: facebook , Health , Lifestyle , Social Media , Twitter

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Ward/1613023222 Simon Ward

    Wow, this article underscores my belief that for many users, Facebook is all about vanity, and overall is not a positive thing in the world. Unfortunately, I have to follow a lot of Facebook sites for business purposes, so I’m not someone who hates it without knowing what it’s about.

    I have a 17-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, and while I would never forbid them from spending time on Facebook, I’m glad to say I’ve persuaded them there are a million things they’d be better off doing.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  4. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Aquino to stay at home during Lenten holidays
  • Man charged with hoax near marathon finish line
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
    Marketplace