Quotation (with page number or parag number or time stamp if video/audio)
“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, instagram made them feel worse.”
Comment (250-500 words)
As a guy it is difficult to fathom that a social media app can have such an influence on the way these girls’ minds work. However, for me I understand it completely and have watched my girlfriend suffer from social media outlets, the main one being instagram. Before we met she had begun to develop an eating disorder from family and seeing all of these skinny model girls, thinking she needed to look exactly like that. Over the course of more than 2 years I watched her body slowly degrade until a point where there was barely any fat on her entire body let alone there was not muscle or anything. She could not see any of it and still thought she was fat as is the way eating disorders and body dysmorphia makes one feel. It has been incredibly hard watching her lay on her phone scrolling through instagram and seeing these pictures now that I know what she’s actually thinking. Sometimes I watch her scroll through food videos because she doesn’t realize she is even hungry anymore due to the eating disorder. The only good part about that is when I see it I can bring her food and she won’t complain because she doesn’t realize she has become so absorbed in her phone and being skinny that she forgets. I have spent the better part of a year getting her help with this, getting a therapist and seeking help from friends and family and am currently working on trying to find her a dietician. This is all because she wants to be skinny like the instagram models and thinks it’s “Pretty” to look this way. Instagram was a huge factor in this I believe because there are also many pages about recovery and what people used to look like which is what she finds interesting and thinks it looks good to be skinny and almost sickly. The problem with instagram is that you can’t tell who is going to develop issues from using it and how the mind works is different for everyone. The challenge is then getting people help who do not even believe they need it.
Is there any way for people to stop using instagram? How can I stop people like my girlfriend from developing mental issues from a social media app?