A few days ago, a Facebook friend posted that she was starting a group for those looking to move more in the coming year. I've been a member of weight loss groups on Facebook before. I never really thought about the implications. What I did think is that it might help to be connected to other like-minded individuals. As it turns out, it didn't work for me. Why was that? Well, this particular group goal prompted a logical question / answer.
If you want to move more, why are you on Facebook?
If you want to move more, you should be moving. You should be biking, hiking, walking or going to the gym. You should be skating, skiiing, running and playing sports. What you shouldn't be doing is giving yourself another excuse to wile away the hours socially networking, sitting on your tush in front of a computer screen.
Find some “real” friends.
The nice thing about non-virtual friends is that, in addition to empathizing, they can actually get active with you. I'm not discounting your Facebook friends here. They're real people and often, very true friends. The problem is, though, they can't jump off the computer screen and join you for a ten mile hike. While they can support you emotionally, they have their limits.
There are some mental health benefits to Facebook groups.
It's nice to have a support system, even if it's a virtual one. It's wonderful to have a relationship with people who share your interests and can relate to your struggles. I guess that's why Facebook weight loss groups are so popular. So, psychologically, these groups could give you the boost you need to get moving. Still, I just can't get past the whole encouraging you to sit on your tush more thing.
All about self discipline.
Let's face it, the reason most of us are overweight is because we have not disciplined ourselves to eat right and move more. Do Facebook weight loss groups help us do this? Well, not directly, anyway. While they may give you that self esteem boost you need, the fact remains that you now have one more group to check on (before getting off Facebook and actually doing something with your life).
Weighing the odds.
Facebook weight loss groups might help some people. Are you one of those people? Does the positive feedback you receive outweigh the time you spend chatting online? Do you find it inspiring enough to make a difference in your overall health? Does the group make you, personally, want to get up and get moving? If not, why join? You're just defeating your purpose.