I admit it. I am one of those annoying people who will occasionally take pictures of my food and share it on various social networks. It is quite a strange thing to share really, if you think about it. Why would anyone else be interested in what I had for breakfast on a regular Tuesday morning? But I’m not the only one. Far from actually. My own Instagram, twitter, and Facebook feeds are filled up with pictures of food, healthy, indulgent, or spectacular. This is obviously a trend of the time we live in.
I came across this article from the Huffington Post a few days back, where a Canadian health expert raises the question of how healthy we really are when we feel the need to share images of food on a daily basis, and document every meal. She links it to the possibility of existing or brewing mental health problems and says that obsessively documenting ones meals could be a signal of larger dieting problems.
As she says, we take picture of the things in our life that is important to us, and for some people the food overshadows everything else, such as company of location. So why do we do it? I can only really speak for myself, and having given this some thought I believe there are various reasons; show of (yes, don’t pretend you don’t do it too) or simply sharing. In some cases the food act as the tool to remember a special moment. But I would never consider myself to be obsessive with documenting what I eat. I do however think that the discussion is very valid, as we do live in a society where image is everything, especially in terms of online presence and communicating with people that you might not know in real life. Or perhaps showing your friends what a fabulous time you’re having, or how healthy you eat.
I am sure that I will continue to document the food I eat, and I don’t see a problem with it. But anything to do with eating will always be linked with mental health discussions, and a case like this rightly should be. Whether or not it is a serious issue is still to be discovered, and it might not be. But in many cases it does seem that food is the key element in social interaction.