Instagram confirms the pressure it causes teens to go through leading to low self-esteem

Instagram has been thriving recently with its new features and the success of Reels; however, the platform also has some dark sides that we do need to talk about. It hasn't been much of a secret how Instagram creates an ideal bubble of the perfect present with its unreal filters and editing. While most of us understand that beauty lies within the fake veil, not many teens succeed to understand that.

By the Wall Street Journals, Facebook admitted to how its perfect little platform might have been a little too perfect and is harming teen girls in the wrong way. Since the teenage years are the make-or-break phase of one's personality, it is important to have high self-esteem, or at least a self-esteem lying in the spectrum of what you would consider 'normal.

When the research came forward, it was found that Instagram did not necessarily ignite this low self-esteem situation however it did fuel 32% of these girl's insecurities about their bodies. It was comforting to find out that Instagram does stand by this research to show their understanding and support to major issues faced by its users and promises to help them overcome these problems in whatever way they can.

Instagram's head of public policy, Karina Newton, admitted that while Instagram has been shining the light on many social disturbances and giving voice to the unheard, it is quite saddening to find out that the platform might also be a source of unhappiness for many teen lives. It feels like they've failed at their job, which is to make people content and satisfied with the experience they have here. While Instagram is a rather important part of the world today, it is also a lighthearted place to have fun and spread positivity, which Instagram promises to deliver.

We're not exactly sure how Instagram will be able to help so many girls, seeing how 1 in every 3 girls feels that Instagram somehow worsens their body issues. While this may be limited to most girls, it was seen across all groups that the platform surely adds to the depression and anxiety faced by most teens these days. Or perhaps has it been so normalized that the platform or the 'influencers' do not realize the impact of their Utopian presence?

According to the Wall Street Journal, 6% of users in the US and 13% in the UK found suicidal thoughts relevant to the time spent on the platform. This is quite alarming if we're being honest. Instagram was not created to let users, in any way feel any such emotions and having suicidal thoughts is something we likely ruled off the rack however it seems like we were mistaken.

While users using Facebook are more than those using Instagram, with a ratio of 80% to 40%, around 81% of young adults aged 18-29 use Instagram while around 40% of the net total users are below the age of 22. This makes a whole lot of young users on the platform which is a huge responsibility and pressure when it comes to such sensitive topics. We do not have all the bad news today as 81% of these users feel more connected when using the platform however there still is a 26% chunk that lies in the insecure bubble.

Instagram also has a positive impact on people's lives as more posts surface on body positivity. The platform also has a lot going on to improve these problems, with solutions to combat bullying, self-harm and eating disorders. For instance, Instagram plans to shift the focus of users browsing through frequent content related to disorders by presenting them with distinctive prompts.

While Instagram relies heavily on these prompts, there is still little that the platform itself can do to change how users think about themselves. However, we are still expectant that the platform will come up with new techniques to combat this battle.

Photo: Anatoliy Sizov via Getty Images

Read next: Users will be able to have full control on their Instagram feed in the near future, as the social network is working on a new “Favorites” option
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