The use of social media platforms has rapidly increased in the US since its introduction in 1997. In recent years, it has been proven and widely established that these platforms can have negative effects on their users but nonetheless, social media is now used by 97% of the US population. While social media can have negative effects on its users, teenagers ranging from 13-19 face the biggest impact from these platforms due to their influential minds and impulsive nature. The social media platform Instagram has been shown to be the worst for a teenager’s physical health and mental health in many conducted studies. This research paper will show the negative physical and mental health effects teenagers are unknowingly impacted with when using Instagram daily. The research conducted is founded on many scholarly and trustworthy articles found in the Skagit Valley college library database, university websites, and google scholar to provide the most accurate information. 17 articles in total were used for data collection. The results from this study showed teenagers are negatively impacted by Instagram use more than any other social media platform. Their mental health is challenged in ways such as an increased likelihood of developing depression/ depressive symptoms, anxiety, and insecurities relating to body image. Their physical health is challenged due to reduced physical activity, which results in an increased likelihood of weight gain, sedentary behavior, and unhealthy eating habits. Their sleep quality is challenged as well due to sleeping for fewer hours overall. Social media awareness needs to be spread to teenagers and parents about the real and harmful implications Instagram has on teens. If possible, then the increasing rate of mental and physical health problems in teenagers could start to decline.
Teenagers are very active on social media platforms and are especially active on the platform Instagram. Countless studies and investigations (such as from the Pew Research Center and the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction) have shown Instagram has negative impacts on a teenager's mental and physical health. Each year, more teenagers are becoming users of Instagram with no signs of the rate slowing down. Consequently, this is causing these teenagers to unknowingly be at more risk of developing low self-esteem, mental health issues, worsening physical health, and sleeping disorders.
The data from the two charts suggest that more teenagers are becoming unknowingly addicted to social media platforms every year which ultimately leads to a higher risk of mental and physical problems.
The data from these two charts suggest that more teenagers are becoming unknowingly addicted to social media platforms every year which ultimately leads to a higher risk of mental and physical problems.