Of course, we already know that social networks have many positive aspects, but also some negative ones due to the addition that it adds to some people, not to mention other negative aspects that social networks can bring, such as bulling. However, Facebook has never recognized these negative aspects, despite trying to prevent them in several ways.
But the big news turns out to be this, that Facebook, in an internal information, ends up recognizing that Instagram has a negative impact on the mental health of younger people.
The inner slide that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ and paywall) had access, dates back to 2019, but it is still an acknowledgment of a problem that Instagram, and social networks in general, pose for younger people. According to the slide, Facebook states that “we have created problems related to the image (that young people) have of their own bodies to 1 in 3 girls”.
According to the WSJ, the study shows that teenagers blame Instagram for the increase in cases of anxiety and depression, in a direct question in which, in addition to Instagram, the study featured other social networks. The WSJ News reports the story of a young woman who developed an eating disorder due to her social network when she was 13 years old. According to Anastasia Vlasova, now 18 years old, “when I entered Instagram, I only saw images of perfect bodies”.
In the same slides that the WSJ had access to, more than 40% of Instagram users are 22 years old or younger and Facebook knows that to maintain the company’s profitability they must continue to focus on these ages, and in the same documents, it is indicated that this is the path to growth if Instagram wants to maintain its trajectory.
It should be noted that in the same news, which reports data from 2019 and thus indicates that Facebook has known about this “problem” for over two years, it states that, even so, the company did little or nothing to improve in this regard .