Can we all just be a little more mindful of what we say on social media??

I’m struggling with social media right now, in the same way that I do every January.

I’m sick of seeing the word diet everywhere I look, of opening a magazine and seeing the latest celeb “flaunting” a 30lb weight loss, of turning on the TV and watching another segment on how to lose a stone on the latest juice plan, or tuning into the radio and hearing yet another discussion about how “summer bodies are made in winter.”

I’m sick of seeing others sharing posts on social media mocking those who are over weight, of seeing celebrities getting slated for being any bigger than a size 10. I’m sick of reading comments from judgmental trolls ridiculing the smallest amounts of cellulite, or the natural folds of a woman’s body as they sit. I’m sick of reading the mean names, the cruel comments, the vile statements, the belief that these people should just cover up and lose weight.

And whilst the majority of us are all for promoting kindness, and would never dream of judging and insulting others on-line, I’m also sick of seeing my news feed filled with people sharing memes of how fat they’ve got over Christmas, sharing “hilarious” posts about needing to “shift some timber”. I’m sick of seeing celebrities claiming it’s time to “lose the flab”, bloggers saying how grotesque they are for carrying a little extra baby weight, or influencers berating themselves for “ballooning” during pregnancy. I’m sick of seeing others be unkind to themselves about their own weight.

Because let me tell you, just because you poke fun at yourself doesn’t make it okay. Publicly calling yourself fat doesn’t make it any more acceptable than calling someone else fat, it just makes those looking in feel bad about themselves should they be the same size as you, or bigger.

And don’t get me wrong, I do get it. It’s January, we are all feeling a little fed up having spent the last few weeks in a bubble of cheese, wine and Netflix, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting go get fit, lose a few pounds, or just eat a little healthier. I know that we all have days when we look in the mirror and feel a bit bleurgh, when our jeans feel snug or our skin feels duller, or we realise our fitness levels are diminishing by the day. I know I do? And I’m not saying that we should never voice those feelings, or censor everything we share, but how about we are just a little more mindful of how we word it?

How about instead of using phrases like “I’m feeling so fat”, we acknowledge that, although we are not quite where we want to be, we are doing an amazing job at heading in the right direction? How about instead of calling ourselves “disgusting” after having a baby, we acknowledge that we are a little low on confidence and that eating better and exercising more would be a great boost to our mental and physical health?

How about instead of referring to ourselves as being “whale like” in pregnancy, we acknowledge that, whilst it’s incredibly hard to relinquish control and see your figure changing, and it is absolutely okay to struggle with that, we are doing the most important job in all the world and there’s is a huge difference between being pregnant and over-weight? How about instead of using these derogatory terms, albeit aimed at ourselves, we consider our responsibilities to those looking in?

Because this is where my sadness lies – with vulnerable people who may be following, watching, reading all of those thoughts and opinions and, in turn, looking at themselves less positively. Nobody said that we can’t be human, and I will always champion honesty across social media, but surely, as adults, we should be considering the impact our words may have on the eyes and ears we cannot see?

January is such a triggering and exhausting time for people with complicated and unhealthy relationships with food and nutrition, and the relentless talk of weight loss on social media is overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if they are in the grips of mental illness, or deep into their recovery, these messages can have a serious impact on anyone, at any stage.

Did you know that 1.25 million people in the UK currently live with an eating disorder? That the mortality rate  associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females aged 15-24 years old? Did you know that without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders will die?

So whilst this January you might not be feeling as healthy as you’d like to be, or your clothes fitting as comfortably as they used to; whilst you might be starting a diet, or a detox, or a new exercise regime, can we all just be a little bit more mindful of how we word that on social media? Please?

 

 

Follow:

33 Comments

  1. January 10, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this hun – if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face then don’t say it on social media!!!

  2. January 10, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    YES!!! Love this so much Laura. I think this is the best post you’ve ever written and definitely one of the most important. It worries me so much about what messages people are sending out there, without really thinking that they are doing it. Or being aware of the people that are watching and reading these messages. Some of the things I’ve seen on Instagram I would hate for in a few years my daughters to be watching it or reading it. The world that we live in now and bringing our children up in, is so very different. Technology is everywhere and everyone needs to be mindful of what they are putting out there x

  3. January 10, 2019 / 2:56 pm

    Thank you for addressing this as it’s something that I really wish people would be more mindful of. I just want to scream when I see all of the negative comments on social media that are hurtful and very unnecessary. We should lift each other up.

  4. January 10, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    Love this post and huge kudos to you for raising such an important topic. I agree with you 100% x

  5. candy
    January 10, 2019 / 3:03 pm

    People can be so hurtful with words. Sometime I wonderful if they even realize how hurtful they are being or if they just are ignorant.

  6. January 10, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    Exactly this Laura. Even just calling yourself silly names – it’s not healthy. As someone who got publicly fat shamed last year… and in person – I fully support being careful with trigger words. Because once they are out there, that’s it. Xx

  7. January 10, 2019 / 5:23 pm

    Love this post, so honest and direct. I worry for my daughter in the future and what she will be exposed to on social media. We could all do with turning our thoughts around about our bodies to be on a more positive vibe as our bodies do amazing things for us

  8. January 10, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    I know what you mean – seeing someone a size 12 moan about their weight when you are bigger than them does leave you feeling deflated. I’ll definitely be even more mindful of what I post after reading this.

  9. January 10, 2019 / 8:02 pm

    This really made me think, I tend to aim to keep healthy over anything else and do slip, but the language we use is so important if not just for impact it has on our children, I look at instagram some days and it frightens me the impact that must have on young and vulnerable minds x

  10. January 10, 2019 / 10:03 pm

    This is a really thought provoking post and it’s good for us all to examine what we’re sharing.

    There are parts I’d politely disagree with though. For instance I don’t think there is any issue with me referring to myself as fat, because I am. Not because I want to berate myself or others, it would just be because I’m factually sharing something in my story. You could just be referring to slim people calling themselves fat though.

    Having attended OA for a few years with many other people who have eating disorders, I know it’s a super complex situation and much of it is down to personal perception. Before attending I’d never have been able to relate to the story of someone with bulimia or anorexia, bit now I know we share much in common, it just manifests differently. Mich X

  11. January 10, 2019 / 11:57 pm

    I agree with most of this, I am a size 12 ish but often have to stop myself saying things about my wobbly belly etc , as I know others think of size 12 as small. Georgia is 6st 5lb and because of all her illnesses she cannot gain weight , despite 5-6 small meals a day. People are very rude telling her to eat all the pies etc and accusing her of being anorexic etc, she is constantly judged because she has to eat lots of snacks (hypoglycaemia) and her heart specialist recommends crisps daily (she has POTs) because of multiple allergies people comment if she turns food down, due to the fact it would kill her. In every area of life people should stop and think before speaking xx

  12. January 11, 2019 / 3:34 am

    Totally agree! I believe that people just take advantage of being under a screen and not in front of that person to say harmful things. Like my momma says: “if you don’t have anything nice to say. Don’t say it”. People can’t imagine the negative impact that a simple comment may have in other persons life.

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  13. Gervin Khan
    January 11, 2019 / 8:20 am

    Nice post and I really have a wonderful time reading this. I agree with you that everyone of us should be mindful in everything that we said in social media. Thank you, for sharing this insights with us.

  14. January 11, 2019 / 8:55 am

    This is so true, people need to choose their words more carefully as it can be damaging for those younger who know no better as well, they might think this is the ‘norm’ x

  15. January 11, 2019 / 9:47 am

    Great post and completely agree. I’ve totally fallen out of love with social media mainly because its either all woe is me post seeking attention or people proclaiming perfect lives! Meh!!

  16. January 11, 2019 / 10:21 am

    As a mam to a teenage daughter I totally agree with this, sometimes people just need to be a bit kinder as you never know who is watching what you say online xx

  17. January 11, 2019 / 10:54 am

    I totally agree with everything you have said, well done for speaking out I have had my moments of having to tell people to watch what they say as well x

  18. January 11, 2019 / 10:56 am

    What a great post. People do need to be more mindful of what they post on social media and the effect it has on other people. I think sometimes we forget just how much our words can impact others reading them.

  19. January 11, 2019 / 12:04 pm

    I must have missed this drama. Not seen any of these comments. But then again, I ignore many things online. People can be so horrible online but chickens in real life.

  20. January 11, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    Thank you for letting me analyzing the origin of body shaming (mainly on social media but not only) also from another point of view. You are right! The fact that we are “shaming” ourselves doesn’t make it less bad, doesn’t make it less “body shaming”.

  21. Monidipa Dutta
    January 11, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    Just like the role of the media in informing, educating and entertaining we use social media no different from this role of media may be unaware. It is important to be mindful of what we post or write on social media because it can have harmful consequences.
    As we use Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media in communicating with friends and acquaintances we should be careful as to what we write because we can find us in deep trouble unaware or not even meant for harm. Since we own these Apps maybe we feel entitled to use them in whatever way we feel which is okay as long we don’t harm anyone. Companies can sue individuals for defamation over a social media post to correct and cure harm done to the reputation of the company. Companies spend a lot of money on PR building the reputation of the company and they won’t let anyone damage that reputation just over a silly post made by an individual on social media.

  22. January 11, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    I completely agree. Only the other day I watched the IG stories of someone I follow and she got so upset over a diet/body confidence thing she’d seen that really effected her because she’s feeling low about herself. I really felt for her. Social media has a lot to answer for.

  23. January 11, 2019 / 8:51 pm

    This is such an important issue to address, well done. The mortality rates are really terrifying. I know I used to be one of those people who moaned about themselves, and particularly at this time of year I’d always set a resolution to lose weight. But no more! There’s nothing wrong with my body and it’s grown 3 babies for goodness sake! Social media can be so harmful sometimes.

  24. January 11, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    Such a worthwhile post and an important message. I love this as many people are super insensitive and do not think before publishing xx

  25. Konstantina
    January 11, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    Since I first started blogging and eventually instagram I receive hate comments daily. Most of the times I laugh and ignore them but some messages I receive take it waaayyy to far. You couldn’t be more right. Thanks for bringing awareness.

  26. January 11, 2019 / 11:51 pm

    Women berate themselves for gaining weight during pregnancy? Wow. SM does take a toll on mental health and to avoid that, curate your niche and tribe on there to avoid all that toxicity. I know that sometimes, those cray memes pop up on your TL but just scroll down and do not engage. Some fools are spoiling for a fight and before you know it, they have your details, address, kids’ names and are sharing that online and mocking you. Trust me, I’m on Twitter and see the nonsense.

  27. January 12, 2019 / 10:09 am

    I relate to this so much.. everyone has puts out the highlights of their lives when we should be more open to the not so great side because that is how life works it’s a balance of ups and down and that’s what we should put out to the world.

  28. January 12, 2019 / 5:51 pm

    As someone who had just been weighed at hospital and am half a stone heavier than my own scales say (and the heaviest I have ever been), it was a bit of a shock, but has given me the kick to do something about it. I have no qualms about sharing this though because its me and I need support to do something about it

  29. January 12, 2019 / 7:42 pm

    It’s terrifying the impact social media can have on all areas of our lives. I think a lot of the time people just don’t think before they type or post something, perhaps thinking it’s funny but not fully being aware of the effect it can actually have on others.

  30. January 13, 2019 / 10:51 am

    So very true, most of the things on social media are 100% fabricated to look like “perfection”, but that’s where the fallacy is! Because no one is perfect! Its all a bit too much sometimes aye, great share!

  31. January 14, 2019 / 8:11 pm

    Yes! Love this post and completely agree with you, we all need to be mindful about our choice of wordsnon social, especially when talking about our bodies x

  32. Blair villanueva
    January 15, 2019 / 3:21 am

    Many those practice being mindful because they always hold on to thr fact that “internet is free”. However, not doing so comes with consequences, like hurting their readers, network, or even not getting a job.
    Being mindful makes many of us holding our thoughts which will save us in the future.

  33. January 16, 2019 / 2:23 am

    I’ve been feeling this way about social media so much lately, I felt it a lot in the run up to Christmas as well and that sense of encouraging people to spend more money than they could on things and now with lots of weight related stuff. I do think social media can be a fantastic and supportive space with lots of people sharing body positive posts but a step away is always a good idea because people can be really mean online or thoughtless. I took quite a lot of time off over the festive season and now because I just needed to step away

    Laura

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *