Facebook is the bastion of “terror cells” plotting against Western world, wait that was last year. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is providing kids the opportunity to talk about violent video games that are responsible for gun violence that exists in the United States. No, that’s not it, and I just read it. Must have been cyber-bullying, or was it depression? Nope, I remember now, today’s flavor of bemoaning and blaming Facebook is the result of a recent study by Florida State University that suggests that Facebook use increases the likelihood of eating disorders among women.
The study of 960 college students, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, is fairly vague but does suggest that vanity might lead to an eating disorder. I’m not making light of eating disorders, but habitually seeking approval through the collection of “likes,” and the “untagging” of unflattering photo are pretty damn good indicators of vanity, and by proxy, eating disorders.
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Facebook: The problem?
“Facebook provides a fun way to stay connected with friends, but it also presents women with a new medium through which they are confronted by a thin ideal that impacts their risk for eating disorders,” psychology professor Pamela K. Keel said in a press release.
“Now it’s not the case that the only place you’re seeing thin and idealized images of women in bathing suits is on magazine covers,” Keel said. “Now your friends are posting carefully curated photos of themselves on their Facebook page that you’re being exposed to constantly.”
I know this argument, but I have a real hard time with comparing friends from childhood, high school, college, work with the “thin ideal.” A sampling of my friends would be a show of slovenly shamelessness, I understand the study was conducted at Florida State University but Florida campuses haven’t escaped the clutches of a national obesity epidemic completely.
Take what you will from the data. I have, but won’t be surprised if hear a number of social media experts commenting on this today.
“If you don’t get the ‘likes’ or the comments, you feel like those in your network don’t think you look good,” said Andrew Selepak, director of UF’s Master of Arts and Communications program with a specialization in social media. “It’s a modern issue and one that continues to get worse.”
And there it is.