Of the many social media networks, I am currently only a user of Facebook, WordPress as a blogger, and Instagram @Holisicchicks. These sites have been great for me to not only promote myself as a health coach, but also as a way to keep up with distant family members and freinds.
I recently discovered what many of you already know – that Instagram ( owned by Facebook ) is allowing and even encouraging anorexia, bulimia, self mutilation, and suicidal support groups.
Support groups…meaning groups – very large communities to be specific – that support the “lifestyle choice” to be anorexic or bulimic.
These groups encourage suicide with words and pictures that pose such questions like, “What’s stopping you?”, and, “Who would even miss you?”
Such is the vulgarity and gruesome nature of the pictures and postings within these communities ( I will not post specific hashtags for fear of encouragement ) that I was unable to sleep until 1:00 a.m. this morning out of pure horror at the lives being so openly lost, and the overwhelming number of participants involved.
Lives being lost for the profit of Instagram.
A new ‘fad’ in “lifestyle choice”, all for the profit of instagram.
The one thing that every single child involved with self hate instagram usage has in common is that they all feel the need to belong to something. I would like to be sensitive to the subject of such diseases as eating disorders and all who struggle with them, but I think it is also crucial to make it clear, to parents especially, that self hate is now spreading like wildfire – beyond the normal means of disease – to full fledged plague status. Self mutilation, in it’s multitude of forms, is becoming one of the largest fads of late among junior high and high school aged youth.
Many parents would justifiably assume that, well, “That could never happen to my child, I’ve always taught them better than that, I’ve always been a good parent!”
Well, you were. However, regardless of individual upbringing, most people go through phases at one point or another during their adolescence of feeling that they ‘just do not belong’. It is at such times, as you probably well remember, that you were susceptible to falling prey to things that were against your moral code of ethics.
Just like any addictive habit, it is easy to fall into disorderly eating, and self hate in general, but an uphill battle to quit.
Self hate communities are deadly cults. They send powerful messages of self degradation to their members and followers. Who are these communities composed of? Any young person who needs to belong to something, and ‘ghost’ accounts ( accounts posing as a real suicidal or sick individual that is actually a group of ill-intentioned pranksters behind the veil of a fake account name ).
Because Instagram refuses to put a halt on said communities, the responsibility relies solely on parents to get involved and to ask questions. Know what your child is up to online and who their friends are. Just as important – talk to your children about the pressures from media to be thin, among many things.
Feelings of failure where weight and body type are concerned are excruciatingly common among young women today, and yet this is merely the gateway emotion to more serious and even deadly frames of mind.
One of the best things you can do to not only build your child’s confidence, but to form lifelong bonds with them, is to get out and exercise together! Not only do endorphins strengthen feelings of closeness and stability, but studies show that young girls who excersice a minimum of 30 mins per day feel happier about their bodies, and self worth as a whole, than they otherwise would.
Be aware, stay involved, and stay strong!