Monday, May 6, 2013

Creating Your Happy Space Online

Just a few years ago, the Internet was not such a happy place for me. Instead of taking advantage of its possibilities, I fell into its rabbit holes and ended up some bad places. No, I didn't pledge my savings to a Nigerian prince, have my identity stolen, or end up on "To Catch a Predator." 

My sin of choice was devouring images and content that were detrimental to my mental health. My number one favorite was thinspiration. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, thinspiration, or thinspo, consists of images of thin or underweight woman that use you can use to "inspire" yourself (read: brainwash yourself) into believing that you need to be thin. It ranges from professional pictures of celebrities and to models to homemade portraits of very sick anorexic and bulimic girls.

For a while, I was looking thinspiration every day. I had separate tumblr account just for looking at thinspiration. My feed was full of images that were then etched onto my brain. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to recover from an eating disorder when you are conditioning yourself to accept these images as beautiful and normal.

When I eventually turned to self harm, I found new images to "inspire" me. I wish I was alone with this discovery, but unfortunately many young women and men find these pictures on the Internet. Some even post their own.

If you are as guilty as I was of this crime, I implore you to take the biggest step you can today.

Delete your account.

But then,

Start a new one.

Here is a screen shot from my current tumblr account

You can check out more of it at

When I created this new tumblr, I made myself a promise to only follow healthy bloggers. (To follow someone is to see all of their posts on your feed, which is like your homepage) I also promised that I would only post pictures and quotes that make me feel good and happy. I post pictures of beautiful food, and I don't care that someone may think, "Eww. What a fatty." I post pictures of art, scenery and animals. When I'm feeling down, I can scroll through all of my old posts and enjoy myself. With my new tumblr, there is no guilt.

Because even though it feels good to look at images that are harmful to us, it ultimately hurts us. We become desensitized. If you think you can handle it to a point, I guarantee the Internet can provide ten times more than that amount. Easily. It's like juggling with a ball of roses. When the roses hit the light, they can appear beautiful, but you end up with a handful of thorns.

It's not my place to tell you what media you should consume, but as a fellow human, I ask you to earnestly consider the images that you allow to be cataloged in your brainspace.

Please leave a comment if you have a beautiful, healthy space online. I would love to check it out.