Instagram leads to mental health, body image troubles for teen girls: report

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook has known its app, Instagram, leads to mental health and body image trouble for teenage girls. 

The report cites Facebook's own research that showed teens reported increases in anxiety, depression, even suicidal thoughts while using the platform.

"Internally Instagram's research has shown that 32 percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse," said Georgia Wells from the Wall Street Journal.

So what should parents do with this information? FOX 32 spoke with an expert from Lurie Children's Hospital on the issue.

"Social media is here to stay, so the responsibility is for parents to not just monitor, but mentor their youth and their teens on what it means and how to use it in a healthy way. That means setting the appropriate limits, having designated unplugged time, talking about the content on there," said Dr. Tali Raviv, psychologist and Associate Director of the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie.

Instagram leaders say they're working to discourage users from focusing on their physical appearance with nudges to "help point people towards content that inspires and uplifts them, and to a larger extent, will shift the part of Instagram’s culture that focuses on how people look."


Doctor Raviv says we need to talk about those seemingly perfect posts on Instagram with our children, and remind them that nobody's life is perfect all the time, no matter what social media shows. 

Facebook isn't getting many likes for this. 

Two senators launched a bi-partisan investigation saying the Wall Street Journal report "may only be the tip of the iceberg."