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Instagram Can Be Harmful for Teen Girls' Mental Health: How to Draw the Line?
Parama Chakraborty

Publisher : Parama Chakraborty

Instagram Can Be Harmful for Teen Girls' Mental Health: How to Draw the Line?

Today, everyone has an Instagram account, and they log in multiple times a day to check updates. There are moments when you might want to scroll without thinking and absorb the content available, as it's entertaining. But what seems to be rather harmless can turn into an addiction soon. It might cause more mental woes than you can imagine. That's what has been happening to teen girls browsing Instagram lately.
Annie Zhu, during her freshman year, created an Instagram account. Initially, she used to flaunt her outfits and stylish looks. She also followed a few body neutrality and positivity accounts. Annie recalls comparing herself with others and feeling bad about it. Finally, she heard about a podcast that revealed Facebook’s research on Instagram’s content having a toxic impact on young girls. She said she wasn’t surprised with this finding at all.

Young people today discuss how Instagram can affect a person’s self-image. Annie said that she and her friends felt that social media interactions felt highly inauthentic. Most of her friends deleted the app because they felt there wasn’t any positivity generating out of it. There have also been several lawsuits filed against Instagram for its negative content.

This article will shed light on mental issues in teen girls' results from browsing Instagram and on how to curb excessive use.

The Negative Effects of Instagram

In October 2022, Welia Health reported that Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, had shared about the adverse effects of Instagram on adolescent girls. He mentioned that the content streaming on Instagram gave rise to body-image problems in one out of every three girls.

Today, close to 22 million teens in the United States use Instagram daily. A few of the negative effects of this use include:

Body Dissatisfaction :

Teen girls who use Instagram daily don’t feel good about their bodies. They often suffer from depression and self-esteem issues because of the false standards of beauty and body image. And since they are constantly comparing themselves with others, it results in depression and other mental health issues.

A Thin-Ideal Mindset :

Instagram content has made the thin body type the ideal standard of a healthy body. That is far from the truth. It’s because every girl has a distinct body type, and they need to accept it. Some girls have a petite structure, and others have an athletic build. It’s necessary to accept one’s body type and work at it.

But teen girls are in a drive to become thin and for that they develop eating disorders. A sudden change in diet also brings with it abrupt mood and behavior changes as well, that don’t allow them to function to their best capacity, which later leads to anxiety and stress.

The Need for Cosmetic Surgery :

A study revealed that Dutch adolescents have developed to get cosmetic surgery to change their appearance. It stems from the desire to look a certain way and has chiseled features.

Many young beauty bloggers use make-up to accentuate their features, which creates a false sense of beauty in girls. They feel if they don't have a defined jawline or a sharp nose, they wouldn't be considered beautiful in society.

Hence, they tend to look for ways to alter their appearance instead of accepting the best features they are already blessed with.
Getting affected mildly can be tackled. However, when Instagram content creates a disruptive force in a teen girl’s life parents must intervene and resolve the matter. If any content has caused a teen to feel like they aren't enough and caused depressive or suicidal thoughts, it's necessary to file an Instagram lawsuit.

It’s necessary to seek legal assistance here. TorHoerman Law states that a lawyer is the best person to determine if your teen’s case is eligible for a lawsuit. Once it is, they will guide you on how to plan this legal battle and help you get the required evidence. They will provide you with the necessary guidance and will also let you know about the probable payout for the case.

Curbing the Habit

Since there are several news articles about how Instagram content affects the mental health of teen girls, they must exercise caution. They must know that all that is shown online isn't real, and it is shot under certain light settings and camera angles. Beauty bloggers are average people like everyone appearing to be glamorous for a few seconds. Above all, it is necessary to realize that everyone is unique and has a beauty of their own to nurture and enhance.

Even with such a profound realization teens might find it challenging to curb their social media use. One of the best ways to do that is by reducing the number of log-in times gradually over some time. It's best to devote the time to other useful activities like developing a hobby, cleaning the room, or connecting with friends. It will help them to look at life for real and escape the bubble of getting impacted by doctored content.

In conclusion, excessive social media browsing can cause mental health issues for teen girls. Impressive but unreal Instagram content can make them feel bad about their bodies and looks. Hence, it's best to absorb this content with a practical mindset and know that it's not the end-all and be-all of everything.