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The potential of Social Media for Behaviour Change – a case study

Carmen E Lefevre15 February 2017

The rise of social media over the last decade or so means that by now Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like are an integral part of many people’s lives. Two weeks ago, Felix Hussenoeder gave a fantastic overview of the opportunities that social media bring with them. However, because we self-select who we follow or friend on each network, the social media experience of one person can be very different to that of another. Affiliating with like-minded people can lead to an impression that our own opinions and values are much more common than they really are, known as the echo-chamber effect. Perhaps due to this effect, social media use has previously been shown to have negative effects on body image, depression, social comparison, and disordered eating. In our research, we looked at the potentially negative effects of the echo-chamber on eating behaviours and are now trialling an intervention that may reduce such effects.

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