Recent news reports and a whistleblower’s testimony on Capitol Hill have put a spotlight on the harmful effects social media is having on the health of its users.
Reporting in the Wall Street Journal relayed internal studies from Facebook that showed the company was aware its subsidiary photo-sharing platform Instagram, is harmful for teenage girls. Engaging with the app, these studies showed, made teenage girls more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.
Florida State University Psychology Professor Pamela Keel studies the link between social media and eating disorders. Among other findings, Keel’s work has revealed a consistent and direct relationship between posting photos on Instagram and negative thoughts about weight and shape.
Keel is available to speak to media about social media and its effects on the health of its users.
Pamela Keel, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology
(850) 645-9140; firstname.lastname@example.org
“Recent revelations about Facebook and Instagram’s harmful effects on eating disorder and suicide risk reinforce information collected through independent research at FSU and other universities around the world. Learning that Facebook has been collecting these data suggests that they aren’t turning a blind eye to the problem. However, evidence that they’ve been holding on to the information indicates a need for greater transparency and collaborations with outside groups to effectively address the problem.”