Blogging gives your voice a space to speak and to help and encourage others. It’s nice to hear from others and relate to their stories. But there is an unhealthy trend floating around the blogging world and you need to be cautious of it.
I’m not a doctor or a guru and I certainly don’t hold any degrees. Talking about certain topics doesn’t feel right to me because I’m not a professional of anything. It feels safe talking about clothes and makeup and things that I’ve gone through.
My regular blogging feed is usually full of fun outfit posts but has recently become cluttered with the discussion of health and working out. I have no problem when people want to share what works for them but when they pretend to be a certified teacher and talk about what they do, it makes me feel uncomfortable.
Would you let your best friend pick out an outfit for you? Sure, why not, nothing bad could happen. Would you let your best friend oversee your diet & exercise and change things as they see fit? Probably not!
[pullquote]Reading blogs is fun because it’s like conversing with a best friend. Unlike the media which is like your weird uncle.[/pullquote]
Reading blogs is fun because it’s like conversing with a best friend. Unlike the media which is like your weird uncle. You’ve come to expect your friends to give you helpful advice to navigate life because they’ve already been there. But what if the advice they give you could hurt you, make you sick, or even kill you? That’s exactly the kind of scary advice I’m hoping you greatly discern.
Too often in the blogging world, health advice is tossed around. New diets, exercises, and get-skinny-quick schemes abound. Magazines and television shows come with warnings like “Please consult a doctor first” but who really does that? What harm could come from eating only oranges for a week? My friend did that and she looks great!* Bloggers are supposed to post disclaimers as well but many of them miss the mark which could get them in a lot more trouble than a few missing words from a blog post.
Books, magazines and other news sources get a majority of their information from real life experts in their field. While your blogger friend has gone through a lot, their information has a chance of being inaccurate. Doctors and experts go through years of school and training to get to where they are while your best friend has gone through a personal situation and has probably heavily read up on a subject. As much as I believe you should trust your best friend, they don’t always know the full risks and outcomes that come with their advice.
[pullquote]What works for one person might not work for another. Our bodies are all so different![/pullquote]
I’ve had my own health issues and a big weight loss but I’ve tried to keep quiet about the actual changes in my diet because I don’t think it’s safe to talk about. I want to protect my readers and I feel like giving a detailed record of my food diary might lead others to think it’s ok to eat like that. What happened to me was a unique situation. It was not a diet and I don’t think it should be followed. What works for one person might not work for another. Our bodies are all so different!
The words you post online have power. People take them to heart and believe them to be true. When individuals are not health care certified, it can be scary to take advice from them. I don’t want to discourage you from reading health stories from bloggers (some could actually lead you to making a real diagnoses in your life!) but please take caution when considering their advice. Unless they are a doctor, tread carefully.
*Hypothetical situation. I don’t actually have friends.