The world of social media may appear to be happy and positive on the surface, but underneath lives a world of hate and anger. In 2017, Britain’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), ranked Instagram, as the #1 worst rated social media network for mental health and well-being.
While the popular photo-sharing application offers its users the ability to explore, like and follow some of the most famous, creative and adventurous accounts on the planet, it is important to look at its association with bullying, negative body image shaming, anxiety, and depression. According to the RSPH survey, Instagram,’s impact on young people’s overall health landed it well below Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
To confront this issue and make Instagram a positive place for its users, the Facebook-owned application is tackling this problem head-on. Instagram has an entire team – the “Well-Being Team” – dedicated to making people feel better while using the app. The overall focus of the team is to make the Instagram community a safer place and where its users feel good as well.
It will be interesting to see how Instagram goes about confronting online harassment and bullying. Countless studies have shown that user, specifically females in their early 20’s, are subjected to body shaming, bullying and a negative image of themselves. For its part, Instagram has introduced many features over the last year to promote a positive community: offensive component filters and a team dedicated to reviewing anonymous reports of posts by individuals who may need mental health support.
While the problems caused by social media are often blamed on the specific type of outlet used, it does not exist in a vacuum – but rather where depression, anxiety, bullying, and unrealistic expectations are all very real issues.