Internet Users- Support Groups for those with Eating Disorders

For the Practicum assignment I was assigned to look at internet users in different support groups. After much debate I decided it would be interesting to look at websites that are support groups for those that are suffering from the eating disorder anorexia.  Now, to take it a step further I thought I would compare websites, blogs, and forums that are support groups that offer a place for those with anorexia to go to get better and have a safe place to discuss their experiences and blogs that are known as pro-ana websites. These are sites that encourage girls to have eating disorders and express the idea that being thin is the ideal. They often give tips on how to eat less and burn more calories and post pictures that they call “thinspiration” to inspire girls not to eat. I have attached a link to a website that does a better job at looking into what is entailed in a pro-ana website.–amp-other-eating-disorders-for-girls-popular–and-controversia.htm

I have requested to join both a website that supports girls with eating disorders and one of the pro-ana site to help get a better grasp as to the strategies used on each site and what type of users inhabit each. Hopefully they will get back to me soon and actually let me observe their communities that they have created.

For now, the following is a picture of the entrance to one of the pro ana sites. As you can see, there are many pictures of  

extremely thin individuals to help “inspire” these girls to stay thin.


One Comment on “Internet Users- Support Groups for those with Eating Disorders”

  1. Alyssa Arnol says:

    I was initially taken aback when reading this post, as you describe these ‘pro-ana’ groups in which people support and encourage anorexia. On one hand, this shocked me that such a group would exist to encourage dangerous behavior. Although after giving this a moments thought, I realized this wasn’t so shocking. In today’s day and age, the World Wide Web provides a wealth of information, much of which can be interpreted as dangerous, unhealthy, violent, etc. Thus, with the prevalence of eating disorders in our society, I should expect that such websites and groups as this ‘pro-ana’ group would exist. I still find this particular group disturbing, but I accept its existence on the Internet. I do believe in the right to free speech and this extends to the Internet. Thankfully we are not restricted from producing or accessing any information on the Web, as many other places are. So although I will not be visiting or participating in these ‘pro-ana’ websites/groups personally, I have come to terms with the reality that there are websites that function to encourage such unhealthy, dangerous behaviors.

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