Mondays for Moms: How Instagram affects young girls’ mental health

Mondays for Moms

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Popular social media app Instagram is under fire after a report by the Wall Street Journal uncovered some company documents that reportedly show that Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) is fully aware how the app can be toxic for teen girls.

Leaked documents revealed details from 3 years of internal research from Facebook. According to a document made in March of 2020, 32% of teen girls feel bad about their bodies, and Instagram made them feel worse.

Another document from the same presentation shows that “We [Instagram] make body issues worse for 1-in-3 teen girls who experience these issues.”

Teens blame Instagram for increases in anxiety and depression. The Wall Street Journal is now accusing Facebook of downplaying the effects on mental health.

Since teens are the most important demographic on the app, if you have a teen daughter she’s likely on it. What can you do to help her? What can parents to do keep their teens safe?

“I think it’s important for parents to teach their girls how to use social media wisely. It doesn’t work to tell them to pretend it doesn’t exist. Encourage your daughter to think carefully and critically about what she’s seeing and talk with her about it,” said parenting expert Rachel Simmons.

In response to the outcry caused by the leaked documents, Instagram’s CEO Tweeted that the company is “doing what it can” to understand the experiences teens are having on the app, saying it’s working to better understand teen mental health and encouraged other apps to do the same.

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