Instagram is toxic to teens and Facebook knows | WSJ inquiry

The world of social media has radically changed the communication and the way people relate to each other and the impacts of these innovations are not always positive . This is demonstrated by a recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal which dug in depth into one of the most used social networks in the world and its parent company: we are obviously talking about Instagram and Facebook .

The WSJ investigation focuses on a specific aspect of the huge internal report that the newspaper was able to consult exclusively, or the impact of Instagram on adolescents and teenagers, especially on girls . The complete document is visible directly on the WSJ website without any paywall (the link is in the Source) and allows us to have a clearer idea of ​​all the critical issues caused by excessive use of the social network and why it is fundamentally impossible to solve the problems it poses .

Everything is obviously focused on appearances and on the image of oneself and others that Instagram tends to form in the individual , who is constantly compared and compared with thousands of model characters who live perfect lives, have no financial problems, have a fairytale body and constantly convey the feeling of success and happiness.

Images and lives which, as we well know, are often built at the table , but whose continuous exposure – through the feed, advertisements and Stories – develops a dangerous sense of inadequacy in the youngest, leading them to judge themselves and themselves through the eyes of the social media, thus adopting its canons as an absolute reference point to evaluate one’s life.

What is striking about more than the WSJ investigation is not so much the discovery of these effects – that let’s face it, they are a bit of Pulcinella’s secret – but the fact that the analysis of these phenomena comes directly from Facebook , who proves to be well aware of the damage caused by his platform to the youngest. This despite the fact that the company continues on every occasion to to belittle all the accusations made against it . Instagram has more positive than negative aspects ; this is the mantra that emerges from every public intervention, despite the fact that we are well aware of the problems caused.

The investigation also highlights how not all social networks are the same and that actually the Instagram problem is explicitly linked to the format of this platform . For example TikTok and Snapchat do not suffer – at the moment – from the same critical issues , as attention has shifted to other factors. On TikTok the being able to do something , the act of starting a performance, while on Snapchat it is the face that is the protagonist, through the goliardic use of filters and effects.

On Instagram this does not happen, as the focus of the platform is excessively focused on physicality, beauty and lifestyle , all elements that bring with them values ​​that – for better or for worse – end to influence the habits of the viewer, dictating new fashions and new standards and canons to be respected in order to be current on the plate taforma.

According to what emerges from the investigation, l negative impact of Instagram is more evident in girls , who can easily fall prey to eating disorders, depression, problems in relating with their friends and arriving even to consider the option of suicide, once it is acknowledged that one’s existence is light years away from the glossy one experienced by others.

Facebook, as already mentioned, is well aware of this huge Instagram problem and is equally aware that there is no solution that can make the use of the platform less toxic. On the other hand Instagram works exactly the way it was conceived , that is allow , 9% of people to admire the good life and the satisfactions of 0.1% of users who manage to break through. Until this approach changes, Instagram has no hope of salvation.

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