According to a survey conducted by stem4, a mental health charity, social media has caused children to dislike their bodies, Breitbart reports.
The poll of over 1,024 young people between the ages of 12-121 found:
- 75% of the children “dislike their bodies and are embarrassed by the way they look;”
- 80% of those between the ages of 18-21 don’t like their bodies and are embarrassed by how they look;
- 70% reported that they feel stressed, anxious or depressed because of social media;
- Nearly 50% stated that they have “become withdrawn, started exercising excessively, stopped sociali[z]ing completely or self-harmed” because of online bullying;
- 40% reported mental health issues; and
- 14% reported having a eating disorder such as binge-eating and/or purging/vomiting.
In an interview with The Guardian, Dr. Nihara Krause, the founder of stem4 said:
“We need to improve understanding of the potentially compelling impact of social media content, and the reinforcement created through algorithms, on young people’s engagement with apps and their consequent mental health.”
Of course, many of these social media giants already knew this. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has conducted several studies on the negative impact that Instagram is having on teen girls.
The following are some findings from Facebook’s own studies:
“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”
“Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”
“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression … This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
“Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram.”