How much personal information is it acceptable to put on your Facebook page? Big life events are de rigeur - if you get a job, get married or get a baby you want to shout about it, right? But what about if you become an organ donor, break a bone or erm lose weight? Because these are all life events you can technically add to your Facebook timeline.
You've been able to chart your weight loss on Facebook since 2011, but it's caught people’s attention over the last few days - after all, why would you want to shout about losing weight? Surely you don’t want the fact that you may or may not have lost ten pounds on display for everyone you know (and a few people you’ve never met before) to see.
The functionality has been predictably slated, and you can see why. It's already been proven, several times over, that Facebook can make us depressed. Anything that makes us obsess over our weight any more than we already do isn’t great. And we all know how social media can become a breeding ground for one-upmanship. But competing with your mate’s apparently amazing (and well publicised) shoe collection by blowing £100 on a pair of summer sandals is very different to competing over who can lose the most weight. And if you can’t shift those pounds? Here’s another reason to feel crap about yourself - hurrah! And aren't weight and weight loss an intensely personal thing - why would we want to share them?
On the other hand, say you’ve lost a bunch of weight and you’re proud of what you’ve done - what else are you going to do with that information? We’ve become used to sharing our every achievement online, from our latest 10k run time to the fact that we’ve worked out how to make a Victoria sponge, so is this just the next logical conclusion?
You can’t really downplay how all-consuming diets and weight loss can be for some people, and in a world where we’ve become used to sharing our every move, thought or feeling with 500 of our closest friends, it’s no huge leap to see how our weight loss efforts could become public property - and how much this could appeal to some.
This week it was announced that one in three adults in the UK has borderline diabetes amidst soaring levels of obesity, so the issue of weight in the UK is firmly on the agenda. If Facebook have found a way to encourage people to be healthy, take responsibility for their bodies, and share their successes, then great. But on the other hand, would you really want to share that 'oh shit' Weight Watchers moment on the scales with 500 people? Nope, us neither.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter @rebecca_hol
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.