10,9,8,7…the countdown begins, celebrations are started and then the next day resolutions are made for the new year. It’s New Year’s Day and most people are trying to get a start on their health goal to get into shape and lose weight in the form of resolutions. Unfortunately, the most notable thing about resolutions is the fact they are forgotten or given up on within a short amount of time often due to a lack of support or boredom. Proof of this can be seen in the fact that there are around 1.5 billion adults around the world are overweight or obese even though many people have lose weight or get into shape as a resolution (Pena & Quintanilla, 2015). However, thanks to social media there have been some strides made towards helping people get started on their goal and stick with it. By using social media sites, such as the Facebook page for Weight Watchers, consumers can make their goals and achievements known to those they choose and this will increase their commitment due to the social pressure to stick to their goals (Pena, 2015). Another aspect of using social media for reaching goals is that when a person slips they can admit the slip to others who can give them encouragement to get back on track. It is easier to admit set-backs when it is possible to decide what to share and who to share it with; this allows a person to seek help in a comfortable way. These online sites can also provide a person with information, such as, recipes and ideas for physical activities that can help them attain their goals. In the case of Facebook if a person “likes” a post more posts that are similar to the original will be suggested. For example, recently, I “liked” a post that had a recipe for a lower calorie, healthier brownie, immediately after reacting to the post several suggested posts showed up directly below the original. I could scroll through these and see if there are other similar posts that may be of interest to me. This could help a person who is at the beginning of changing to a healthier lifestyle by personalizing their page and giving suggestions they may not have found on their own. This can help a person stay on track by keeping them from getting bored with healthier food choices or the same old exercises. It is much easier to stick with a goal that keeps our interest and can be fun.
Social media sites have the ability to educate, encourage, share ideas and keep people in contact with others who are working towards the same goal. This allows people to find help in a comfortable way by allowing them to the provide information about their goals or setbacks in a way that is comfortable for them and getting the praise or help they need. This information and support may assist some reach the goal of a healthier lifestyle and weight.
de, l. P., & Quintanilla, C. (2015). Share, like and achieve: The power of facebook to reach health‐ related goals. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 39(5), 495-505. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.1111/ijcs.12224