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Instagram Might Not Be Making Teenagers Unhappy According to This Study

A lot of people tend to assume that social media platforms like Instagram are doing a real number on the mental health of teenagers. In spite of the fact that this is the case, a study that was conducted by the University of Amsterdam seems to suggest otherwise.

Researchers working at the School of Communications Research at the University of Amsterdam recently conducted a study that analyzed over 210,000 Instagram DMs that were sourced from approximately 100 teenagers. These teenagers were in the 8th or 9th grade, so they can serve as good representations of what adolescents are experiencing on the image sharing platform.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that teenagers sent four times as many happy DMs as sad ones. What’s more, when the teenagers filled out biweekly surveys about their emotional state, this revealed that there was no strong connection between the emotions expressed in DMs and what they were experiencing in the real world.

This seems to suggest that Instagram can actually be a positive influence on teenage mental health. However, the timing of this study might make the results less reliable than might have been the case otherwise.
For one thing, this study was conducted mostly throughout the heyday of the pandemic. That could skew results, since teenagers were forced to stay home during lockdown and Instagram along with other social media platforms were the only outlets they had which allowed them to stay in touch with friends.

Using Instagram in that period must have had a good impact because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up helping them socialize. The study still reveals some important details, since many assumed that Instagram would be a bad influence even during lockdowns, and it should be taken into consideration moving forward.

Everything has some kind of nuance, and the same goes for social media. Chances are that it is neither entirely good nor bad, but can rather be helpful if used the right way.


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