Facebook Knows That Instagram Could Be Bad For Users’ Mental Health.
October 7, 2021

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook researched how Instagram affects users for the past three years. The research finds that Instagram is harmful or has a negative impact on teenage girls. The company’s reports write that Instagram makes body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.

According to documents cited on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Facebook found nearly a third (32%) of teenage girls felt worse about their bodies felt after logging into Instagram. These feelings may be a reflection of targeted advertising and influencer culture. It has been documented that young people's mental health is undermined by time spent on social media. That’s why it’s crucial to establish a healthy balance between active and offline time to help alleviate some of these problems.

A statistic, part of a presentation posted to Facebook's internal message board in March 2020, added: "Comparison on Instagram can change the way young women see and describe themselves." A slide seen by the Wall Street Journal stated that Instagram made body image problems worse. At the same time, another highlighted the way teens believe there was a strong connection between rates of depression and anxiety with Instagram usage. Even worse, another purportedly said that 13% of UK teen users and 6% of US teen users traced the desire to suicide to Instagram.

Meanwhile, according to i-d.vice.com, when Florida representative Kathy Castor listed off studies that suggested the opposite, that adolescent suicide rates and depression increase with their use, Zuckerberg either stated that he hadn’t read the study. The data turned out to be only stored for internal study, and not disclosed to the public. As a result, when summoned by the United States Congress in March 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the experience of using social media for young people "generally positive."

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