Instagram is harmful to a majority of its young users, especially teenage girls. This is evidenced by internal research conducted by Facebook, which owns Instagram. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) obtained access to the results of these studies.
Young people blame social media for increasing anxiety and depression. Many of them would like to stay less on Instagram, but they lack self-control. “The teens said they don’t like how much time they spend on the app, but they feel like they should be there. They often feel “addicted” and realize that Instagram is bad for their psychological well-being, but they cannot stop themselves, ”said Facebook researchers.
Instagram users’ drive to share the best and look their best, and the fact that social media is addictive, can push teens into eating disorders, unhealthy body perception and depression, according to a March 2020 study.
The results of this study were seen by top managers of Facebook, including the founder of the company Mark Zuckerberg, follows from the documents received by the WSJ.
“The studies we have studied show that using apps to connect with others can have positive effects on mental health,” Mark Zuckerberg said at a March 2021 US Congressional hearing in response to a question about the psychological well-being of children.
In August, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn asked to show them the results of a Facebook study of teen interactions with its platforms. Facebook responded that it was keeping such data under wraps “to facilitate frank and open dialogue within the company.”
“Facebook seems to be following the lead of the tobacco corporations – targeting teens with a potentially dangerous product and hiding scientific data from the public,” Blumenthal told WSJ.