October 24, 2021

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Instagram is bad for one third of its users and is well aware of it

An inquiry by The Wall Street Journal Instagram reveals a greater interest in Facebook in adolescent mental health, but corporate executives have done little to improve it.

“While 32% of teenage women feel bad about their body, Instagram made them feel even worse.” This is a frightening discovery made by researchers and posted on Facebook in March 2020. Worse, among teenage users who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of Britons and 6% of Americans said they wanted to kill themselves on Instagram, according to researchers who have always provided documents.

These alarming figures were not made public by Instagram or Facebook, but were released from a lengthy survey The Wall Street Journal. They are part of the company’s internal data Facebook files And reviewed by Daily. These documents focus on adolescent mental health, political rhetoric, and human trafficking.

For an honest reading of the study, 12% of American youth say they feel it “Very well” Thanks to Instagram and 29% “Rather Better”. But when you have hundreds of millions of users, feeling bad about the application is a problem for many.

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A problem known locally …

The The Wall Street Journal Over the past three years, Facebook has conducted several studies on how Instagram affects its millions of young users. It has been reported on several occasions that this use is harmful to a significant percentage of them, especially among teenage girls. “We make physical problems worse for one in three teenage girls”, Whether this has already been pointed out in a presentation since 2019. Teenagers blame Instagram for increased rates of anxiety and depression, Another slide showing a reaction is mentioned “Spontaneous and consistent in all groups” Interview.

The problem also seems to be gaining importance internally WSJ Recalling five presentations made in the last 18 months, researchers a “Immerse yourself in the mental health of adolescence”. A Facebook study of young people in the US and UK shows that more than 40% of Instagram users feel “Geeky” And this negative feeling started in use.

… and reduced externally

These research presentations were not conducted under the ladder on Facebook. The The Wall Street Journal They were reportedly reviewed by top officials and even quoted at a 2020 presentation to Mark Zuckerberg. The social network always wants to ensure that information that is kept confidential is confronted with public opinion.

In March 2021, the company’s CEO reduced the issue during an earlier hearing in the U.S. Senate. His desire to start a version of Instagram for kids was questioned. Zuckerberg said research conducted shows it “Using social apps to connect with others can have positive psychological benefits”.

In August, at the request of senators to publish internal Facebook research on the impact of its sites on the mental health of young people, Mark Zuckerberg kicked in, indicating that there is no scientific consensus on this question. He also explained about the documents “It’s secretive to encourage conversation Brainwashing Open Open and Internal “.

How Instagram works at the center of the problem

The challenges for Instagram are at the heart of the machine, the coke of which seems unstoppable. Photography and body-centered social networking have a very young audience, with 40% of users aged 22 or under. More than anything else, the social network makes its profit in the social comparison of body, lifestyle, and travels … No wonder it has become a shopping center of influence where beauty is the only thing selling to customers.

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However, some efforts are being made by the company to satisfy the minds of its young users. Last May, Instagram unveiled a new function to hide the number of “likes” in publications. Alas, the functionality, which has been tested domestically since 2020, is unbelievable by its effectiveness. “We do not see any improvement in the overall functioning of the welfare state.”, Was told to Mark Zuckerberg not to stop it Start of the tool.

Discussed in internal documents WSJFacebook researchers also suggested that Instagram should focus on “fun” filters rather than “beautifying”. Last March, Instagram suggested reducing exposure to popular content and tightening content in the spheres of close friends. “Isn’t that the reason teens are on stage?”, Responded about the Facebook employee “Photosynthetic life of over 0.1%” population.