The Internet is a very powerful tool but may be abused and taken advantage of by some. I never was a fan of sharing my whole life on the Internet and joining multiple online communities but after reading this weeks articles, I can understand why some individuals feel more comfortable using the anonymity of the Internet to communicate. But the real question that is always haunting us is when does the Internet become too much for our society? Should there be a limit with how much is exposed on the web? After reading McCabe’s article I became very interested in how people utilize the web for their own well-being. In our society today, eating disorders have reached an all time high because of what is put out by the media. Constantly, over the web, TV, magazines, advertising, we are reminded what the ideal image should look like therefore questioning our healthy bodies and putting ourselves at risk. I personally can relate to this topic because I have a few friends that are going through eating disorders and at times they feel helpless and are too afraid of sharing their problems with others in order to seek help.
“The emergence of the Internet, however, has created a channel that infuses the pro-eating disorder community, now rapidly gaining a cult-like following. The interactivity, anonymity, and perceived credibility of Web sites create a powerful means of persuasion for those who access them” (Johnson & Kaye, 1998). The beauty of the Web is that it is possible now for almost anyone with an eating disorder to become part of this online community in hopes of bettering themselves and everyone around them. These online communities will allow individuals to relate with other members and come together as a team to put an end to eating disorders.
Individuals must be aware of not abusing and taking advantage of online communities and help groups because it could very well backfire and leave individuals in a worst state than before. Although the idea of an online community seems positive and effective, there must be some percussions that must be taken and these online communities must be monitored by an expert or professional to ensure they are helping participants,