A few weeks ago as I went through Instagram I got lost…I clicked on a hashtag that led to another and another until suddenly to my horror I’d entered the wacky world of eating disorders. I’m still shocked as I type this out. I’m not familiar with eating disorders, I’ve never experienced it and if I’ve been exposed fully to anyone close to me dealing with an ED I’m blind to it. There is a “secret society” of people out there actually ENCOURAGING this behavior. I refuse to publish the exact hashtags I came across because I don’t want to perpetuate that culture. There are girls, and some guys, who are “fasting” for days and feeling guilty over eating a small serving of potato salad. They post pictures and boast about how many of their bones are protruding from beneath their skin and other followers give them likes and motivation to continue with this dangerous lifestyle.
I’ve heard of Tumblr accounts that are dedicated to thinspo images (thin inspiration) that were actually encouraging eating disorders but Tumblr began to crack down on those accounts. Tumblr even partnered with the National Eating Disorder Association, you can read about it here. I think many social media sites are becoming wise to the ED sub-culture that thrives on their platforms. If you try searching one of the ED hashtags on Instagram it asks you to seek parental permission and closes the app. You can only get to photos by clicking on a hashtag you come across.
So what’s the point in me telling you about the social media culture of eating disorders? I’m only making an observation. Perhaps, social media is making it easier for people with EDs to help each other continue on with the disease instead of actually recovering. People can hide behind their computers and connect with a network of people trying to achieve the same goal. Maybe it’s a source of comfort? I don’t know. It’s easy to find a unique niche online for anyone. There is a website for virtually every topic known to mankind out there. I just know that these people need help from their REAL LIFE friends and family.
I don’t know what else to say about this topic so I’ll just end it on this: