Instagram gets Anderson Cooper down.
On Tuesday’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN, the anchor spoke with Syracuse University associate professor of communications about the effects of social media on teens.
The interview came in the context of documents recently shared by a whistleblower at Facebook showing that the company had found Instagram had a negative effect on teens’ mental health.
“What we’re seeing on Instagram is an imminent threat to teenagers. I am seeing self-harm,” Grygiel told Cooper, according to Yahoo!. “I’m talking about starvation… teenagers cutting themselves.”
“I’m on Instagram and I enjoy it. I follow friends and look at art sites and things like that,” Cooper told her, before admitting, “But I gotta say, it depresses me. I mean, I leave feeling worse than when I got on.”
Cooper added, “I feel worse about my own life, I cannot imagine what a teenager feels. I mean, I’m supposedly an adult. What some kid feels looking at other people’s lives and how their lives seem much more exciting than their own.”
Findings by researchers at Facebook, which owns Instagram, showed that, “32 percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”
The research also found that Instagram was linked to a rise in suicidal thoughts among teens.
“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” one leaked slide revealed. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.