Owing to recent controversies, the popular social media app Instagram has received widespread bashing for allegedly affecting the mental health of teenagers, especially girls.

This has been affirmed by internal researchers at Facebook-owned Instagram, who have found that the app poses serious mental health problems to many teen girls, as reported by the Wall Street Journal citing internal documents.

It further adds that the report has some serious findings including having acknowledged that it makes body image issues worse for one in three girls. It further notes that several teen users have blamed Instagram for the increasing rate of anxiety and depression. 

However, the reports have not been made public by the media giant and Instagram has countered saying that it stands by its research.

“It demonstrates our commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues young people may struggle with, and informs all the work we do to help those experiencing these issues,” Instagram said in a statement.

How Grave Is The Problem?

The findings popping up in the firm’s research suggest that the problem runs deeper than expected. To top it up, the Journal reported that 13% of British users and 6% of American users who reported suicidal thoughts traced the desire to harm themselves to Instagram. 

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If real observations are brought into the picture, we could all agree on the fact that it is not a bizarre sight for us to see young girls, nowadays, portraying their best lives on the app. From the perfect outfit to the best bodies, these have been unconsciously setting unrealistic standards for the mass to follow.

A study of almost 1,500 teens and young adults has associated the app with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.”

The #StatusOfMind survey, published by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health, surveyed 1,479 young people (ages 14 to 24) from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

They had to answer various questions about how social media impacted various facets of mental health. Unfortunately, the highly-regarded app scored the lowest on the pedestal.

What Does Instagram Have To Say About It?

Even though the company continues to face criticism for these reports, it has been standing strong on its stance on the matter. “Issues like negative social comparison and anxiety exist in the world, so they’re going to exist on social media too,” Instagram has noted.

It asserts that it will continue to take steps to help its users, especially the vulnerable age from bullying and developing mental health issues.

“From our research, we’re starting to understand the types of content some people feel may contribute to negative social comparison, and we’re exploring ways to prompt them to look at different topics if they’re repeatedly looking at this type of content,” it added.

However, paying no heed to these statements, teenagers around the globe are demanding that these revelations must be treated as a wake-up call for the entire generation as well as the people who have the power to bring about changes.

Image source- Google Images

Sources- The Time, Wall Street Journal, The Hindu 

Find the blogger- @Akanksh65505461

The post is tagged under- Instagram, the mental health of teenagers, depression, anxiety, body image issues, Facebook, allegations, young girls, teenagers, perfect bodies, survey, Britain, Northern Ireland, Scotland, FOMO, social comparisons

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