I’M SO EXCITED!
Remember last summer when I sent a message out on Instagram and asked people to fill in my questionnaire for my dissertation? Hundreds of you responded, which I am so grateful for, allowing me to conduct some really exciting research into a topic that I had previously only heard anecdotal evidence about.
I completed my dissertation, received a distinction for my work, and have now managed to get it published in a scientific journal, which is so exciting! It’s taken so much time and hard work (so much more work than I realised). Let me tell you, the peer-review process is absolutely brutal. I genuinely cried when the first reviewer comments came back. But the changes I made as a result led to a much better piece of work that’s much more robust; so despite the tears I really am grateful for it.
At the time of posting the questionnaire I couldn’t reveal what the subject was to avoid bias, and even when I had people asking me to share the results I still had to keep quiet (although a handful of you did guess correctly!). In case it wasn’t obvious from the title of this post, my research was on social media and orthorexia, with a focus on Instagram.
Here’s the link to the paper:
Instagram use is linked to increased symptoms of orthorexia nervosa.
Please note, this is not a piece of journalism, it’s a research paper, so it’s not exactly the most user-friendly thing to read. But there is minimal scientific jargon and should still be easily understood. If you have any questions though I’m happy to answer. Just send me a message on any social media channel or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This coincides so well with Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so I’d just like to finish by saying if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, disordered eating behaviours, or simply feel like you don’t have a positive relationship with food, then please seek out professional help. Food should not make you scared or anxious – it’s something to be enjoyed and celebrated!
More time spent on Instagram was found to be associated with stronger symptoms of orthorexia nervosa. This was only the case for Instagram, not other social media channels. Age, BMI, number of social media channels used, and type of diet/lifestyle followed all had no effect, only Instagram use.
Who you follow on social media, particularly Instagram, can easily affect your world-view, so I do recommend following a variety of people with varying body shapes, diets, lifestyles, and views. This has definitely helped me!