Is Instagram Toxic for Teens?
Social media has taken over the world. It seems like everyone, adults, and teens alike, is constantly on their phones scrolling through various apps. One of the most popular social media apps is Instagram. Although it may seem harmless, is Instagram toxic for teens?
A recent study has shown that Instagram is the most popular social media platform among teenagers. However, some experts are concerned that the platform may be harmful to teens. They argue that the pressure to appear perfect online can lead to anxiety, poor body image, and depression. Additionally, the constant comparison to others can make teens feel inadequate. Some experts believe that Instagram is a toxic environment for teenagers and should be avoided.
Another study found that Instagram can be a toxic place for teenage girls. The study, conducted by the UK-based think tank Demos, found that 32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.
The study surveyed British teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19 and found that social media is harming young people’s body image. It is stated that 13% of teenagers in British and about 6% in America are reported with suicidal thoughts due to Instagram issues. In addition to making them feel worse about their bodies, the study found that social media is also causing teens to compare themselves to others, and to develop unrealistic expectations about their appearance.
“This research shows that social media is not just a harmless way for adolescents to connect with friends,” said Demos researcher Amy Orben. “It also has the potential to cause real harm.
How Instagram is Toxic for Teens?
Today, a statement like “Instagram is toxic for teens” is blowing in the air, and no doubt there are multiple newspapers and sites that have a hot debate about it. But is it true or not and how it is affecting the real worry for the experts and parents as well?
Yes, it is not a myth that Instagram develops some toxic thoughts among most teenagers, not among all. An internal report from the American Academy of Pediatrics has described several ways in which Instagram is harmful to as many as 20% of teenage girls using the app. The report cites increased anxiety and depression as two of the main effects of using the app.
The report also suggests that Instagram can lead to body dysmorphic disorder, an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with one’s appearance. In addition, the use of filters and editing tools can create a distorted view of reality for users, leading to unrealistic expectations and body image issues.
With the rise of social media, people are now able to connect with the click of a button. While this has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks. One such drawback is the negative impact that social media can have on teens. On Instagram, everyone is allowed to follow the celebrity and peers for feeds according to their choice. When they share their fitness photo for engaging their Instagram followers and getting more Instagram likes, it develops negative thoughts among teenage girls about their physique. They either tried to become like them or feel body shame about them. Teenagers compare themselves with social media comparison and filtered images and become complex.
In most cases, it is observed that the Instagram algorithm is also a fact behind depression in most teenagers. On the algorithm, content is judged based on the rate of engagement and number of followers. So, to become popular it is required to have numerous followers, which is not easy for beginners and those who want to earn money via Instagram.
How to Lessen this Potential Harm to Teens
Instagram is not the same as real life. One of the most important things that you should convey to your teenage children is that Instagram is not real life. While it can be fun, Instagram tends to showcase people in their best light while hiding the worst parts of themselves. Furthermore, there must be some restrictions for teenagers while using such apps. The users must be encouraged in actively use their bodies not only follow the selfie generation. To overcome the influence of peers you can also encourage your children to face-to-face interact with their peers and influencers so that they may understand the difference between reality and media life.
Instagram can be toxic for teens if they don’t use it in the right way. If they are constantly comparing themselves to others and trying to get validation from others, then it can be harmful. However, if they use it to connect with friends and share their lives, then it can be a positive experience.