Facebook recently published findings on the impact of Instagram on teens’ and even adults’ mental health. The data shared in slide decks shows that the app has far-reaching consequences on self-worth, levels of stress and sleep.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, the social network’s PR department has been trying to reframe the findings by putting a more positive spin into the commentary section of the published slide decks, but when looking at the data alone one thing becomes clear: there’s no downplaying the emotional anguish Instagram causes teens.
Sleep issues, work stress, compassion oneself to other users and body image issues were among the most prevalent among teens, while adults also experienced financial stress.
Around a third of teen girls found Instagram to aggravate their body image issues.
A third of users also blamed Instagram for making problematic social media issues even worse.
While teens were honest about their struggles with Instagram, they also admitted to using the app in fear of missing out. It alludes to the addictive factor that social media is well-aware of.
Teens also said they felt pressure to confirm to social stereotypes, match body types, and validate their pages through likes and followers. They experienced bullying, over-sexualisation of girls and inappropriate ads on the app.
When reading Facebook’s justifications it becomes obvious that this could have serious consequences for the app given the several child protection agencies are already monitoring the app for its harmful effects on youths.