What can Students of AHS do to Protect their Mental Health

Instagram and technology fries our brains

Hannah Popish

Instagram and technology fries our brains

Social media is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety.

According to the Mclean Hospital, 81% of teens and 69% of adults in the U.S use social media. Most of the population is vulnerable and exposed to platforms that can hurt their self esteem and mental health.

Mclean Hospital also states “another transatlantic study found more than 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling ‘unattractive’ said the feeling began on the app; about a quarter of the teenagers who reported feeling ‘not good enough’ said it started on Instagram.”

Not only is social media for adults and teens, According to the New York Times, Facebook recently have been designing a new part of Instagram for kids age 13 and under. Facebook has paused the release date for this new launch because of how it may affect young minds’ mental health.

“Facebook stated that it had paused development of an Instagram Kids service that would be tailored for children 13 years old or younger, as the social network increasingly faces questions about the app’s effect on young people’s mental health,” According to the NYT article

Teens that use social media say they aren’t addicted, but instead use it to connect and to see other people around the world.

“I believe we need to start treating social media like we do cigarettes and alcohol. That means implementing warning labels and age restrictions and conducting research into the health effects of long-term usage,” U.S news states.

On September 14, The Wall Street Journal spoke about the comparisons between the most popular social media platforms.

“Social comparison is worse on Instagram,” states Facebook’s deep dive into teen girl body-image issues in 2020, noting that TikTok, a short-video app, is grounded in performance, while users on Snapchat, a rival photo and video-sharing app, are sheltered by jockey filters that “keep the focus on the face,” In contrast, Instagram focuses heavily on the body and lifestyle.

In the Wall Street Journal article, Facebook speaks about the physical and mental aspect of social media, which the company researched internally during March 2020.

“The tendency to share only the best moments, a pressure to look perfect and an addictive product can send teens spiraling toward eating disorders, an unhealthy sense of their own bodies and depression,” the research states.
“It [the study] warns that the Explore page, which serves users photos and videos curated by an algorithm, can send users deep into content that can be harmful.