Online communities are something that all people within the millennial generation are familiar with. Yes, we use YouTube, but that is just one of the many options we have available. YouTube is great for “informational support.” (Baym 84) I personally use YouTube to provide tutorials on EVERYTHTING. Whether it is a step-by-step on how to replace the fork seals on my Ducati, or how to perform an new, unfamiliar workout with ease.
Instagram is the biggest I would have to say out of all the platforms available today. People can use Vine and post their videos on Instagram. Individuals fabricate informational and motivational videos, which serve a purpose of being “esteem” boosting.(Baym 85) I personally wake up and go to the gym first thing, most of the time even before I have breakfast. Though I have already looked through my Instagram feed and started listening to music by that time to get up and going. This is what really gets me started in the morning. Music and esteem boosting, or as I usually call them, motivational videos, make my workouts great. Friends are regularly tagging me in inspirational posts that get us thinking of new goals we need to conquer.
Though these sites serve as motivational to me, they do present information and pictures that can be disconcerting. In the McCabe article, the issues are presented in regards to these sites. People can be affected in a negative manner if the motivational support they are seeking is unrealistic to their lives. (McCabe 5) When people are presented with an unrealistic idea of what they can be, they begin to revolve their life around it and then realize that it does not come easy. This can result in someone developing an eating disorder or something some of us know as muscles dysmorphia. These are conditions that manifest due to people trying to achieve goals that are out of reach for their lifestyle to attain, and they begin to view themselves as unattractive. Then, they resort to desperate measures such as purging or many other unhealthy techniques to get into a shape they desire due to what they viewed online.
Overall, I believe that if people can use common sense and decipher between what is reasonable and not, these sites are great. This understanding has to be learned, because if you see these videos, the people make it seem easy. It is not easy to be incredibly fit. It takes years of commitment that many people do not have the discipline to achieve. With a strict diet and exercise discipline, anyone can do it. Though honestly, it is incredibly hard to do that! Most importantly, people need to view themselves as beautiful, and work towards a personal achievement, not something external, such as comparing themselves to someone they saw on Instagram or YouTube.