Facebook Knows About the Harmful Effects of Instagram On Teenagers

Instagram can be devastating to the mental health of teens

Facebook Knows About the Harmful Effects of Instagram On Teenagers
Instagram can have negative effects on young users.

If there is one thing that we all already know about Instagram, it would be that it is not the best place for teenagers. Now, a new Wall Street Journal report confirms that Instagram is indeed very toxic for teens.

Facebook research on Instagram

According to some internal Facebook research which was kept away from the limelight for two years, the social media company already understands the negative impacts of Instagram on young users. Now, the report has been acquired by the Wall Street Journal.



Based on this report, the team at Facebook knows how devastating Instagram can be for the mental health of teenagers, as it worsens their body image, especially in the case of teenage girls.


According to the report, 32% of teen girls confessed that Instagram worsened their body image issues. For instance, one slide reported, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”

Along with that, many teenagers state that Instagram has increased their depression and anxiety. But that is not all. Up to 13% of British teenagers who use Instagram have reported having suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, 6% of teenagers in the US have had suicidal impulses that originated from Instagram. WSJ has not revealed any statistics about Australia, though.

Facebook already agrees that the social comparison on their picture-sharing app is far bigger than other applications. After all, that is directly linked with the inherent design of Instagram.


Of course, these findings might not be shocking for the regular Instagram users who are well-aware of how the application encourages meaningless competition and toxic comparison.

Regarding this, the WSJ wrote, “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.”

Yet, these findings are still alarming, and now that they have been confirmed by internal research, it calls for action.


It looks like the top management at Facebook, including Zuckerberg himself, have downplayed these effects on their younger user base. Instead, Zuckerberg recently talked about the positive benefits of social apps on mental health while completely ignoring his company’s own internal research.

Yet, Facebook has not responded. It might just be likely that Facebook will not respond at all.

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