I often praise the internet for being one of the best ways to share and sometimes to learn, however there are pros and cons to everything. I’ve been fully immersed in this kind of use since I’m a part of the Internet generation. I would even say the generation of media because I think that generally speaking people my age or a little bit older are strongly attracted to what they see on television or what they read in magazines. Obviously, personality traits differ from one another but a lot of adults assert that teenagers are very gullible which is quite common in my opinion. On the other hand, the use of social networks, and especially of Twitter, particularly increased the two past years in France. Suddenly I observed a new occurrence on the website which seemed quite gross to me. Let me explain. Plenty of people now tweet daily about their will of weight loss. There’s nothing shocking except that these are mainly teen girls talking about it a lot (too much in my opinion) — at least they do it really often online. Thus, a great amount of Twitter accounts has been created with usernames containing words like “fat“, “thin” or “depressed“. Girls running such personal accounts usually tweet openly about their diets and all of the process. Acronyms even exist to name disorders: Ana stands for anorexia, Mia stands for bulimia, Cat means self-harm and so on. I don’t know if this outrageous phenomenon of using social network accounts as diet diaries is common in the United States or elsewhere in the world but it clearly is in France.
Living in democratic countries we are free to stand up for our own beliefs possessing the right to speak our mind. However, internet users might write harsh things sometimes and the limit of respect towards each another can often be crossed since a computer may keep users anonymous and what’s being said on the internet is not always true. There are numerous teenagers over the world facing the same issues: self-esteem, body image, sex, self-confidence. Eventually it turns out to be the same kind of problems globally when growing up. Society customarily condemns the fashion industry — and children toys such as Barbie recently — as what triggers teen body image issues. However, teenagers still spread some views by themselves, unintentionally at times. Online networks are a very easy way to share with people and spread ideas and beliefs; nonetheless it doesn’t have a positive impact in all cases. As I told you, many French girls use their Twitter accounts to update their weight loss journey in order to keep them at the heist of motivation with the help of others in the same situation, which can’t be considered as really unfavourable to the diet process. Yet, the idea of losing weight or changing in general has increased as young people are more and more influenced by others. Even though all teenagers are not naive — since it depends on the personality traits, when seeing plenty of people like us complaining about their body and talking about their ambition of reaching perfection all day, it occurs sometimes that these who were strongly reluctant at first end up swayed by others. Subsequently, teenagers who start being on diet all of sudden because of seeing others doing so are not always right about their methods and thoughts.
Frightfully wrong ideas are sometimes shared by teenagers. Surprising quotes which are completely absurd such as “Eating is not very Chanel” can be read online. Some girls using their profile as a diary think this quote is true and they do share and spread this belief. Of course, everyone does not think that way, but some really do. As a result, the most negative aspect of the “sharing to help others” idea is the irresponsible influence that one might have on another. For instance, type “motivation” in the Twitter search bar and click on the first account; if you check the pictures on the profile you will only see very thin girls, now read the caption which might refer to the “perfect body”. Their way of motivating each other is to tweet before/after photos or body of girls labelled as beautiful. Therefore, they define the perfect body as thin and muscular. Does this help to make teenagers accept themselves and be self-confident? To be honest, I don’t think so. I believe it is damaging and it pushes girls, who absolutely don’t need to be on diet to be perfect, to be on diet! Some teenagers are probably aware of the insanity which spread such accounts but others aren’t. Spreading the wrong definition of perfection surely has an impact on over-trusting people is really defective. Thus, some people influence others unawaringly by sharing their wrong views on such a tricky subject. These people do not help people to get better with themselves and it only makes it worse. It makes them feel uncomfortable by letting them question their body image. What is vilest about that is that they purvey these dreadful thoughts just by themselves when none of it helps. You shouldn’t let those people destroy their own self-esteem and body image.