‘The Facebook Files’: The Many Faces Of Social Media Reveal A Harmful Side

Patti Maguire Armstrong
ncregister.com
2021-10-20

Isabel Schweitzer was enjoying a day with her family this past Fourth of July. That suddenly changed, after the 16-year-old from Bismarck, North Dakota, logged onto her Instagram account.

“Seeing people that I thought were my friends having fun together, but they didn’t invite me, made me feel bad,” she told the Register. “I took it out on my family,” she said, explaining that she thought she was left out because of her mom’s way of raising her.

Schweitzer said she has stepped away from social media recently, realizing that it was taking an emotional toll on her — inviting her to compare her looks and activities with what she saw on her phone screen and making her feel worse about herself.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could have told her that. He has known for a long time that “[c]omparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves,” according to his own company’s research. The Wall Street Journal, citing internal information obtained from Facebook’s employee message board, reported that researchers for Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, stated in one data point in 2019, “We make body-image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”

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