Today’s world is one of connection. Social media reaches out into every aspect of nearly all our lives, even that of the children in society. In a world where everyone is constantly online, eternally connecting to everyone else who stays plugged in, it is becoming more common, and harder to prevent, how issues with perception impact us. Not just external perceptions; but how we perceive ourselves. Or how we think others perceive us.
One way this manifests is with eating disorders. Someone who constantly interacts with so many other people, who already tends towards body image issues, will very likely see those tendencies magnify immensely. Mental health conditions such as Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating, and Anorexia Nervosa, are all related to how such a patient changes eating patterns in direct response to how that patient perceives others’ opinion of the patient’s outward body image. Because of a desire to be seen as someone who’s thin, they will change eating patterns, or induce medically dangerous habits like purging, to feel certain they’re more able to present the image they desire to those who see them.
Children are especially susceptible to these kinds of problems. Setting boundaries for how much time they spend online can help curb the drift toward such conditions. Parents might also want to check on their children’s online activities. And parents should work with their children, to help them shape healthy mental habits and avoid developing dangerously negative ones.