Harms of social media come to light

The study comes amid revelations that social media is a detriment to young people’s self-esteem and confidence. More than 3.6 billion people use social networks such as Facebook and Instagram – both owned by Mark Zuckerberg.

The social media company has been conducting research on the effects of Instagram on its user base. A report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says that Facebook is aware of Instagram’s negative effects on teen girls. Leaked documents reviewed by WSJ, including internal slide presentations, bolster this finding.

Facebook researchers mentioned in a March 2020 slide that “32 percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.” The researchers add: “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.” This finding reinforced a 2019 internal slide that said Instagram “[makes] body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” (Related: Facebook fully aware that Instagram is toxic for teen girls, according to company documents.)

Furthermore, the internal slides reveal that “teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression.” They warn that the Explore page can send users deep into harmful content. Instagram’s Explore page displays photos and videos curated by an algorithm based on content they view and like and other users they follow. (Related: “Facebook depression” surprisingly common among middle-aged adults as they dwell on what they don’t have.)

Addiction.news has more articles about the negative effects of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Sources include:

StudyFinds.org

UTS.edu.au

WSJ.com

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