A recent study of female college students published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders indicated that more time on Facebook was associated with higher levels of disordered eating. When student’s browsed for 20 minutes or more they reported more body dissatisfaction than those who were instructed to use the Internet to conduct research. Also, women who put a greater importance on receiving “likes” and comments on their status reported the highest levels of disordered eating. What can we learn from this study?
I’m reminded of the passage from Ephesians 5 that says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” A little time on Facebook or other social media is fine, and it can even be good as it helps us keep connected with friends. However, we need to monitor the kind of impact such an activity has upon us, just like we should with anything else. If we find ourselves impacted negatively or are finding ourselves impacted by the number of “likes” received, then we need to cut back on the amount of time we are spending on that activity. It is probably good to have periods where we have a social media fast. If you do so, notice the difference in your mood, and perhaps increased productivity.