Are you also addicted to social media? If, yes then read on and find out how it’s harming you!
In our everyday routine, whether we are at work or chilling out with friends and family, we are always using social media. But the truth is, some have likened it to cancer for our mental health. Recently, there have been claims (backed by research) made on Facebook and Instagram about how social media can be dangerous for children. One former Facebook employee (turned whistleblower) testified recently and had lots to say.
Here’s What Happened
Frances Haugen, an ex-employee of Facebook who resigned back in April, highlighted the most threatening and defaming points of the company. One of those was about how Facebook and Instagram are ruining children’s mental health as individuals. Also, how a young person’s mental health suffers when they turn to Instagram and browse more than perfect images, experiencing feelings of lower self-worth due to the influence of posts they see.
But what she evidently pointed out was more shocking! According to reports by the Wall Street Journal, 32% of teenage girls are said to feel bad about their bodies, and Instagram made them feel worse.
Is Frances Just Defaming Mark Zuckerberg & Facebook/Instagram Or Are The Claims Real?
Before leaving the famous social media site Facebook, Frances copied thousands of pages of confidential documents. According to her, these proved how the company is just about making profits and exploiting personal data. Furthermore, as strong evidence, she shared them with lawmakers, governors, and the Wall Street Journal, who published a list of records termed as the “Facebook Files”. Moreover, the documents revealed that celebrities, politicians, and other high-profile Facebook users were managed differently by the company.
It has been suggested that lawmakers need to enter into a legal battle & negotiations with social media owners just as they did with the tobacco companies many years ago. Social media is an addiction too, with serious, and often fatal, negative mental health fallouts, and needs to be regulated just as strictly. Do you agree?
However, Ms Haugen told Congress that Facebook consistently chose to maximize its growth rather than perform protecting activities on its programs. Moreover, she claimed that the firm’s leaders (she mentioned that Mark Zuckerberg is a big part of the decision-making process) know how to make their sites safer, but they won’t make changes as they place their gigantic profits before people.
Furthermore, in her opening remarks, she said she understands how complex these problems are, but the choices being made inside of Facebook are disastrous for children, public safety, privacy and democracy.
Frances Haugen Highlighted The Matter Clearly In Her Recent Tweet!
Here is the full text of my opening statement to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation: https://franceshaugen.com/blog/b9xlswihk
Some Research Results Drawn From Teenagers Using Instagram As Quoted By The Wall Street Journal
“Teens told us that they don’t like the amount of time they spend on the app but feel like they have to be present,” …
“They often feel ‘addicted’ and know that what they’re seeing is bad for their mental health but feel unable to stop themselves.”
“I felt like I had to fight to be considered pretty or even visible,”
After looking through photos on Instagram, “I feel like I am too big and not pretty enough,”
“It makes me feel insecure about my body even though I know I am skinny.”
During the isolation of the pandemic, “if you wanted to show your friends what you were doing, you had to go on Instagram – We’re leaning towards calling it an obsession.”
This Is What Zuckerberg Had To Say Earlier In The Year
“The research that we’ve seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental-health benefits,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a congressional hearing in March 2021 when asked about children and mental health … Some features of Instagram could be harmful to some young users, and they aren’t easily addressed, he said. He added: “There’s a lot of good that comes with what we do.”. – Wall Street Journal
Reactions To The Testimony!
Latest Update On This Matter By Mark Zuckerberg!
The star behind the success of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram – Mark Zuckerberg has recently sent out his statement on Facebook. But, before highlighting the real issue of testimony he talks about the worst outage of their services on 4th October. Furthermore, he says that the deeper concern about the outage isn’t the loss of money, but what it means for the people. Moreover, he says that people rely upon social media to communicate with loved ones, run their businesses, or support their communities, etc.
Twitter Trolls Mark Zuckerberg!
Creating Optimistic & Sensible Content On Instagram and Facebook!
Despite all the criticism (and some hilarious trolls), we feel the content displayed on social media is often highly toxic and requires more supervision. Facebook and Instagram developers and programmers should be more sensible while allowing such inappropriate content to be exposed.
Since children are using social platforms all the time and it’s hard to stop them always or supervise them 24/7, firms should regulate algorithms, what can a teenager view onscreen and how it affects his/her mental health. Hence, all content creators must be regulated more closely by Facebook and Instagram teams for influencing young mindsets negatively.
Social Media Platforms Are An Effective Medium To Create Optimistic Change!
To conclude, we would like to address Social Media authorities and ask them to focus on the impact rather than merely growing the financial assets of the firm.
The influential posts, especially on Facebook and Instagram, are often needlessly frivolous and have come under fire on multiple occasions. These are also the ones followed by a majority of young people who suffer from mental health problems.
Moreover, users must observe some guidelines to improve the overall content they share on their accounts. It’s high time for social media regulators to realize that developed apps need sophistication, and a finer sensibility to filter content that can be detrimental to mental health.
What do you think about the testimony against Facebook and Instagram creator Mark Zuckerberg?
Is it easy to point fingers at just one corporation or person for what we are all largely responsible for as a society? Some questions for all of us:
- Do you feel the responsibility lies not just on private corporations but on government regulatory authorities as well?
2. Is too much regulation even a good thing? After all, it was social & digital media that kept us sane or insane(?) during the pandemic?
3. Is the blessing in disguise becoming a curse now?
4. Are parents equally responsible for allowing social media apps to infiltrate (and take over) their teens’ lives, or is it beyond their control?
5. What’s the way forward towards a mentally healthy social media world?
Let us know in the comments! Yeah, You Don’t Smoke Cigarettes, But You Are On Social Media 24/7, What’s The Big Difference. Right?
Resources used in this article includes: Frances Haugen: Facebook whistleblower reveals identity, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before the Senate, Why whistleblower Frances Haugen is Facebook’s worst nightmare, Stock Futures Rise After Proposed Debt-Limit Extension