Snapchat, Instagram, and Tiktok Toxic For Teens
Social network like Snapchat, Instagram (Owned by Facebook) or Tiktok have created for Teenagers, especially those who are recognition and self-confidence.
Originally made for the good of people, by connecting friends together, ly to users. enagers are in the process of learning things, building their own behaviours, educational pillars and are easily convinced by what they see, listen, or experiment. Their fragile judgement can be extreme and easily influenced by any kind of propaganda. It depends essentially on their personal interests, and this is exactly what Instagram will exploit to sneakily creates a deep and disturbing addiction with the hidden ulterior motive of making more money.
The recent Facebook whistleblower's testimony highlighted how toxic and vicious the strategy toward gaining more users and more time spent connected can be, especially from profiting of users naivety to build an empire, walking on the mental health of teenagers from all around the world with avidity and impunity.
"It is powerful, gripping, riveting evidence that Facebook knows of the harmful effects of its site on children, and that it has concealed those facts and findings." said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, during the hearing of the brave whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, who courageously exposed how secretive and dissimulative Facebook management treats the reports concerning the danger of Instragram on Teenagers.
About a year ago, teenager Anastasia Vlasova started seeing a therapist. She had developed an eating disorder, and had a clear idea of what led to it: her time on Instagram. “When I went on Instagram, all I saw were images of chiseled bodies, perfect abs and women doing 100 burpees in 10 minutes,” said Ms. Vlasova, now 18, who lives in Reston, Va.
Haugen's testimony exposed how Instagram harms children and teenagers and how the strategy in place is degrading the vision of their own body. A report from 2020 said it is involving 1 girl out of 3. Research has been conducted by Facebook during the last 3 years, all of them found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of users, most notably teenage girls. (Facebook internal documents consulted by the Wall Street Journal). Those results are not at all something new and Facebook is well aware of the issue: “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the researchers said in March 2020. An other presentation from 2019 exposed that "among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram". The network is actually driving teenagers to low self-esteem, negative body image, depression and for some of them, even suicide.
Another part is how works the vicious algorithm in place at Instagram. The instagram internal research from March 2020 warned the algorithm may serves orientated photos and videos and can send users deep into content that can be harmful. It is made to always accentuate any addiction or fear. For example, eating disordercan actually use instagram to find "pornfoods" related contents, spend time to watch some photos and videos about this subject, then, the day after or so, Instagram will indefinitely suggest more contents related to this.
Here some really disturbing examples of searching that Instagram algorithm will gladly amplify:
- "Teen” (Some perverts will watch permanently photos and videos of random teenagers all day long, following them, making weird comments, eventually harassing some of them and so on, this is the dark side where impunity is legion).
- "Anorexia", (Hypocritically, Instagram will ask to validate research, but still allow to consult the result. The danger is still the way the algorithm will then suggest day after day more and more content related to this).
- It works the same way with "Gang", "Violence", "Blood", "drugs" etc.
- "Bulimia" is another terrible example, again, Teenagers will have access to tremendous stories, photos, testimonies and videos related to this disorder.
- Model is a more classical one but particularly devastating especially with young girls. (Showing beautiful photoshoped models, often with eating disorder living their so called best life in heaven landscapes).
The list is really exhaustive as well as the danger for Teenagers who risk to entertain indoctrination, addictions and develop random disorders during the crucial period of their life where what they learn should contributes to their future inner peace and happiness. Instead, they are sharing fake dreams and illusions between them and Instagram happily allows those contents to go viral on the platform.
When the search results finally appears, the algorithm works like a slot machine at a casino, you can scroll scroll and scroll again for hours and it silently seeds into brain the setup of personal addiction.
The results of this is the dramatic thoughts like "I have to be perfect", "I have to be thin", "I want to look like him or her", "look how happy she is compare to me", "What a lucky girl", "I would love to have her life", "Look how ugly I am compare to her". Because of Instagram, teenagers well under 15 are now talking about losing weight, following a new diet and techniques to grow their breasts!
Inside this ruthless jungle, important point to understand how devastating can be for teenagers: The followers, instant messaging, comments, likes and so on, in short all the interactions stimulating the addiction. Each time a teenager publish a photo or a video, what they are looking for is how many likes, positive comments, and private messages they will get with the ultimate goal of gaining more and more followers. For some of them, a lot of likes, tons of followers, a kind of public popularity will build a feeling of superpowers, arrogance, superiority and a total lack of empathy. On the other side, those with few followers and less likes will feel depressed, sad, lonely and useless. Some will even be harassed by ennemies, false friends, even pedos or simply bad people who like to troll and spread hate online to makes others feel miserable. Every time the teenager leave Instagram, there is a duality purposely installed, the feeling of being kind of depressed with extremely low self-estime and at the same time, the addiction for having more likes, followers and nice comments with an irresistible need to reconnect as soon as possible to see what is going on inside this toxic ecosystem.
The Instagram vicious circle is now in place, Facebook makes more money at the price of Teenagers mental health and addictions. Who cares? Certainly not Facebook who is well aware of the issue and have chosen to ignore it for years. The research has been reviewed by top Facebook executives, and was cited in a 2020 presentation given to Mr. Zuckerberg, according to the documents analysed by the Wall Street Journal. Like the Tobacco industry did, Mr. Zuckerberg did not hesitate to lie publicly while knowing exactly what is going on at Instagram for teenagers.
Let's hope the consciousness of parents will wake up, helped by the medias exposing again and again the dangers and consequences of social networks on teenagers these days.
t is urgent and important to prevent Facebook from building an Instagram for children. Otherwise, things will get worst the only goal of Facebook and its networks is not the well being of its users but rather gaining more to monetise and grow the company’s profits at any cost.