This week, Facebook appears to be in the eye of the storm. A new installment of the research being published by the Wall street journal (WSJ) offers some handling of the company, which privately admits statements that managers of this social network minimize or deny in public. The latest example, released Tuesday, shows that the company is aware that its Instagram application can be “toxic” to teens.
An internal report reveals that Instagram creates “a major mental health problem for teens,” WSJ says. The documents revealed in the newspaper go even further and refer to the damage that the social network Instagram can generate in some young women.
In fact, the report’s data indicates that “32% of adolescent girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.” WSJ clarifies that this data was released internally in March 2020 on the dashboard on Facebook.
In this sense, the study has come to clearly indicate that “comparisons on Instagram can change the way young women see themselves.”
Anxiety and depression
It is not the first time that a study carried out by Mark Zuckerberg’s company has realized the dangers of misuse of social networks. In fact, back in 2019 – although this came to light this week – another company report stated: “We are making body image problems worse in one in three teenage girls” and also that “teenagers blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. ”
The seriousness of the consequences that adolescent use of Instagram can bring can be even more dire. In fact, the Facebook documents that WSJ has had access to refer to some teenagers reaching suicidal thoughts.
Specifically, 13% of British users and 6% of Americans linked the desire to kill themselves to the use of Instagram. A relevant fact in this regard has to do with the fact that more than 40% of Instagram users are 22 years old or younger.
All this information seems to show the dark side of this social network, absolutely far from what Zuckerberg expresses in his public speeches. “Using social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental health benefits,” he said at a congressional hearing in March 2021 when asked about youth and mental health.