Modern technology has proved to be beneficial in many ways, but there is no doubt that it has brought along with it innumerable health issues, one of them being eating disorder.
Kids and teens today enjoy using Instagram because it allows a person to use effects and captions to edit photos and share the pictures across multiple social media platforms. They also use photo filters to alter their appearance to gain favourable comments from their friends & collegues.
Teenagers logged in on Instagram make remarks or share photos that touch on weight, body size, body shape, and eating behaviors. This may include negative statements about themselves or someone else’s weight loss, dieting, etc.
Some teens or even women go so far as to create “Instagrams” (think Fake + Instagram=Finstagram) where they portray themselves as perfect rather than be who they are. Finstagrams are also used where some teens feel they are unable to be themselves and use their fake account to post photos of their ‘real’ self with a few trusted peers. It’s shocking that many teenagers are not used to seeing their image without a filter.
Watch Out If a Teenager Is Trapped,
- Today, all smartphones come with some type of photo filter, and so do most social media apps. Often they also judge every part of their body and face. Talk with your child about genuine beauty and that enhancing their image and body with photo filters is not a true standard of beauty for a person.
- Keep a watch for your child’s social media activity, and who they are following. Are they and other users posting about unhealthy dieting behaviors, or commenting on the ‘thin-ideal’ body image, or obsessed about exercise habits? This activity can encourage eating disorder behaviors and become a normalized process in their thinking if seen enough within their social media news feeds.
- Talk with your teen about healthy and unhealthy behaviors. It is imperative during the adolescent years to have these conversations sooner rather than later.
- Educate them on what an eating disorder is and what can happen. Spread awareness about healthy body image, healthy eating, and internal beauty.
Talking with your teenager about healthy and appropriate Internet and social media use is a good step in preventing an eating disorder.