Social Media Day is observed every year on June 30th. It was launched by Mashable in 2010. This day’s main purpose is to recognize social media’s impact on global communication and to bring the world together to celebrate it.
Social media is a way of communicating. It’s how people interact and share things with their family, friends, and the world in a simple and fast way. Moreover, it has become a big part of our lives and many of us use it every day.
3 Facts About Social Media
- Young adults spend more time using social media than doing any other activity.
- Sixty-five percent of all American adults and 90% of young adults in the U.S. now use social networking sites.
- According to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report, the participants who spent the most time on social media throughout the day had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns, compared to their peers who spent less time on social media.
Effect of Social Media on Our Eating Habits and Diet
Around 40% of the world’s population spends an average of two hours every day using social media. With social media playing such a big part in our lives, how does it affect our well-being and eating habits? Does it trigger emotions like anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, and loneliness? Or does it make us feel better about ourselves and the world around us?
Did you know that the most-liked photo on Instagram is an egg, and pizza is the most Instagrammed food? Food is a big part of social media. Moreover, it’s nearly impossible to scroll through any feed without seeing pictures of food, recipes, and food-related videos. Have you ever wondered how all of this exposure to food affects your eating habits?
Related: A Guide to Intuitive Eating
Positive Impacts of Social Media
Social media can have many positive effects on our eating behaviors.
- It can give you the opportunity to reach out to anyone. For example, you can connect with life coaches, doctors, or dietitians via direct messages.
- Social media helps us express ourselves through what we cook or eat.
- It makes us creative and allows us to share with other people.
- Viewing social media inspires and motivates us to try new things.
- It gives us easy access to healthy recipes.
- We can learn more about nutrition and diet from social media.
- It can be a great way to relax, which can also be positive for your mental health and well-being.
- Social media helps us to find other people like ourselves. This can be especially important for people who are dealing with eating disorders or body image issues as it allows them to build a community.
- It can connect you with similar people, which can make you feel accepted and support you emotionally.
Negative Impacts of Social Media
There can also be some negative effects of social media on our eating behaviors.
- Social media is directly associated with negative body image and the idealization of thinness, which is associated with eating disorders.
- You can experience bullying or harassment about your body image on social media.
- Inactivity caused by excessive viewing of social media can increase body weight, which can lead to obesity. Studies show that television viewing time is positively associated with BMI (Body Mass Index).
- If you compare yourself to social media models, it can make you feel inadequate and lower your self-esteem.
- It may increase the use of laxatives, diet pills, or diuretics to lose or control weight.
- Social media can take over your world and distance you from real-life and in-person communication.
- Not all online information is true. It is easy to be misled by false information found on social media.
- Staying online instead of doing other important things like eating, sleeping, spending time with others, or exercising can have a negative impact on your health.
- Social media can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety, which can cause emotional eating.
Social media makes our lives easier and has both positive and negative effects. It would be wrong to say that it’s only bad for us. However, it affects people differently, depending on conditions and personality traits. Just be sure to spend a low to moderate amount of time on social media. Therefore, don’t let it take up the major part of your day or your life. If you feel that it has a negative impact on your life or you are experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety, talk to someone or seek professional help. You don’t have to deal with this on your own.