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Does #FoodPorn have a place on social media?

The love-hate relationship between food and social media was the topic of last night’s (23 March) #SMBuzzChat with founder of Digital Blonde, Karen Fewell.

The community discussed the importance of sharing on various social channels as well as how food ‘over-sharing’ can actually become a benefit to those attempting diets.

We asked Karen to answer each of her questions in a longer form to give greater understanding to the importance of food psychology online.

Does #FoodPorn have a place on social media?

There are millions of images tagged with #FoodPorn on Instagram alone, from showing off cookery skills to showcasing a chef’s talent or bragging about restaurant choices, it seems #FoodPorn is still very much alive. In fact, showing off is cited as the number one reason people share food images. Here’s a slideshare with some findings from a Digital Blonde study looking at why people share images of food online.

How can social media help change and improve diets?

Popular social influencers like The Body Coach have made a huge impression on health and diets. Whilst the internet is certainly a place of temptation, especially with all the #FoodPorn, the overwhelming amount of inspiration social media provides can mean it has a positive impact on food choices. Social media can also be a force for good by giving us data about people’s behaviour from the food they crave to insights into eating disorders. We just need to ensure we find positive uses for this data and that we’re using it to help create change.

What makes people love a food brand on social media?

Here at Digital Blonde we recently looked at Love, Lust and Trust of eating out brands. Comparing where several well-known food brands fall on an emotional spectrum. Love seems to vary and encompasses different states including nostalgia, passion and attachment. Here’s a look at some of the findings from the Digital Blonde Love, Lust and Trust study – here you can see what it is people love about restaurants and fast food chains found in London.

Should we ban mobile phones at the dining table?

Having a lot of clients in the hospitality sector, this debate crops up for us quite a bit. It’s an ongoing argument and here at Digital Blonde, we are undecided on the right outcome. To help satisfy our curiosity we even ran an experiment, where we surprised dinner guests by confiscating phones at a very #FoodPorn worthy event. We wanted to understand whether guests would have a better experience without their phones. We wondered whether mobile use at the dinner table could actually be ruining the in-the-moment enjoyment of eating out too. It turns out phones might be detrimental to the dining experience – here is what our experiment found, it will make you think twice before Instagramming your dinner.

The #SMBuzzChat community got involved as they always do during the tweetchat, direct from the @buzz_awards Twitter account; you can view a roundup of the conversation below.