Instagram knows they’re a drug

Instagram is slowly destroying and draining the lives of teenagers.

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Photo Cecilia Cheng

You can easily like someone’s post with a click of a button.

Cecilia Cheng, Staff Writer

I’m just going to say it. I hate Instagram. I remember first downloading the app when I was just eleven years old, like any other typical sixth-grader when they first get their phone. Five years later, as a sophomore in High School, this toxic app is still my No. 1 most used app. Even though it made me self-conscious about my body, which led to several meal skips and me over working-out, I couldn’t stop using this app. Although I was always comparing myself to those models, I was addicted to seeing their perfect hourglass figures. I’m not the only one.

“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” The Wall Street Journal quoted.

Almost every single one of my friends have felt insecure about their bodies before. “Oh, my legs are so short.” “My stomach rolls are ugly.” Teenage girls make comments about themselves from head to toe. Even me personally, I didn’t start wearing cropped shirts until recently because I hated how my stomach looked. But why are we doing this to ourselves? All of these thoughts are just going to end up affecting our mental, emotional and physical health negatively. Why do that to yourself?

This leads to my main point. If you keep on doing this, you are going to end up going down a very dark path. Instagram was created to be addicting. Like TikTok, Snapchat and every other social media platform, you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. Who knows how much makeup these people have on that covers up their acne? There are apps like FaceTune that make them have an extra skinny waist or even a filter that covers up their stretch marks.

Not only is it affecting teenage girls, apps like Instagram are creating the same impact on teenage boys.

“In the deep dive Facebook’s researchers conducted into mental health in 2019, they found that 14% of boys in the U.S. said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves. In their report on body image in 2020, Facebook’s researchers found that 40% of teen boys experience negative social comparison,” The Wall Street Journal highlighted.

Having been on social media for so long, I feel like these comments on Instagram are affecting the daily lives teenage boys too. They get pointed out for EVERY TINY THING they do wrong. Humans aren’t flawless. Society should just accept the fact that you have probably committed the same mistake you are pointing out another person for. We also learn FROM our mistakes, but constant backlash on how you should’ve done something a certain way is going to make you question your self-worth.

Onto another point, teenagers are also comparing the new of followers they have. Just because you have a larger amount of following, doesn’t make you better in any way. Yes, people might believe you are more “popular,” but at the end of the day, your followers is just a number on the top of your phone. Always remember quality over quantity.

I have learned to not waste my time over a little app. It’s not worth it, comparing yourself to the 22 million other teenagers on Instagram. You are perfect just the way you are and you shouldn’t change just because of one nasty comment.