ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS AND EATING DISORDERS: DISTRIBUTION FIELDS OR OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT
ABSTRACT Body and weight obsession reaches new heights in our society and social media only fueled the fire. Social media combine many visual aspects of traditional media with the possibility of interaction between users while spreading stereotypes. According to different studies online social networks like Facebook affect body perception. As Internet and online social networks are a large part of our everyday lives, online communities are widespread. Along with the thinspiration, pro-ana and pro-mia communities, which share the idea that anorexia and bulimia are a choice and lifestyle, new ones providing support and information about eating disorders appear: pro-recovery, anti-ana and anti-mia communities.
This study intends to investigate the means of gaining support and help using online social networks such as Facebook while fighting with an eating disorder. For the purpose of the research we use a content analysis of anti-mia, anti-ana and pro-recovery groups in Facebook.
Keywords: online social networks, eating disorders, community, identity