How many times haven’t you planned to do something worthwhile and you check your cellphone and end up never doing it because you became so absorbed with your cell phone?
We’re scanning social media non-stop and we ignore the fact that it is actually affecting our interactions with the people around us. The scope of social media for receiving feedback and approval also creates anxiety for many people.
Constantly influenced by social media
They become distraught and can’t sleep or eat because only 3 people liked their post as opposed to a friend who got 103 likes for a similar post. Why has nobody commented on that cool picture they shared?
Some people are so anguished about social media feedback it can affect their appetite even. Not getting the response they want can take away their appetite completely.
Also, their eating habits are changing – being influenced by what their friends are posting about their food habits and preferences.
Plenty of food suggestions
Food is a huge topic and there are always plenty of food-related posts on social media. There are posts telling us to avoid certain foods, what foods can cause cancer, what dark secrets exist within some fast-food chains and what foods we should be eating to be healthy.
These posts and information provide clues about what the social norms are of certain people and what their food preferences are. For some people, if their friends are eating certain foods, they try to change their eating habits to suit theirs.
The trouble is, some people are so anxious to be like other people, they are even willing to change their diets and spend a fortune to eat what their friends are eating, whether healthy foods or not.
A researcher at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says that ‘social norms affect people’s consumption of certain foods’.
Eat to be cool
Researchers actually asked 369 university students about their food habits, their social media usage and their perceptions about their online friends’ eating habits.
An assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania said ‘when individuals think that other cool members of a group eat more servings of fruits and vegetables …..they report eating more fruits and veggies themselves’.
Social media can be a tool of inspiration
The bottom line is that social media is- and can be used as a tool to inspire people’s eating behavior within friendship groups.
It is believed that social media can be used to show beautiful images of cool people eating raw fruits and vegetables so as to encourage other people to also eat more of these healthy foods.
Caution may be especially needed though with social media and the messages put out, especially with teenagers who are always obsessed about their weight.
The information would have to be such that it never encourages harmful dieting and harmful eating habits.
Eat healthily to suit yourself
People who are constantly glued to social media to see how others are living seriously need to get real.
Even if you want to do what others are doing and wear designer labels and eat certain foods, the reality is you can’t.
Just think how blissfully easy it will be to be yourself, to see a food post on social media and make your own decisions about it. You need to eat healthily on your own terms and maybe also benefit from a total social media detox.