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Research Say Selfies Can Have Positive Effects On Weight Loss

Considering taking those before and after selfies and make public declarations of hitting the gym?

A woman’s before and after photos through weight loss

Recently, a new research co-authored by Dr. Sonya A. Grier who lectures marketing in the American University Kogod School of Business made some affirmations that these announcements and headway updates come in handy when it comes to achieving desired weight gain and fitness goals.

“Weight Loss Through Virtual Support Communities: A Role for Identity-based Motivation in Public Commitment” published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, perfectly scrutinizes the part virtual communities and public commitment takes in setting and achieving weight loss goals. The piece, of course, emphasizes the positive influence of Virtual Support Communities and Public Commitment.

 This study tracks two not the same communities of weight loss groups, both surgical and non-surgical for four years. They discovered that individual participation and sharing of successes, hurdles, challenges and setbacks that are encountered in virtual support communities (VSC) is a key part of achieving goals through the public commitment and determination to shed unnecessary weight.

“In our investigation of VSCs, we find social identity motivates public commitment in support of goal attainment,” the researchers state in the reports of the study.

Dr. Sonya A. Grier said that “The sharing of intimate information and photos about weight loss goals in virtual space is a key factor in motivating behaviors that fulfill that new thinner identity and thus helps people reach their goals.” In simpler words, what Grier was trying to point out is that- when you tell a story of how you lost weight and achieved the exact weight you want or close to it, it’s not the worst idea in the world to let the people you are trying to motivate see pictures of you before you reached the anticipated weight. In fact, she feels it’s really inspiring to be more open in this community as it is germane to helping people in this virtual space achieve their aims.

Certain bloggers like Jordan shared old pictures in the quest of finding a “pretty and slim” version of herself.

In the long run, Dr. Grier says, Virtual Support Communities gives room for relative anonymity to ensure the privacy of users, easy accessibility, 100 percent readiness and availability as well as certified flexibility in how users characterize themselves on their journeys. The entire process of building and developing the community, even in relative anonymity provides satisfactory help with helping participants motivated and accountable and also ensuring they stay that way till the targets are achieved.

She concluded her statements by saying that “Not everyone can get the support they need from the people they interact with in person on a daily basis. It is helpful that technology can support community building and goal achievement in virtual spaces.”

So selfies are not just people’s way of being narcissistic. In the case of people undergoing a remarkable physical transformation like weight loss, it can be the key towards their motivation. Not only does it motivate the person with weight loss goals, it can also encourage the people around them. This creates a sense of community that Dr. Grier has discussed in her study.

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