QCQ 10 – Raychoudhury

QCQ for “What Our Research Really Says About Teen Well-Being and Instagram”


“On 11 of the 12 issues in the slide referenced by the Journal, such as eating issues, loneliness, anxiety and sadness, teenage girls who said they experienced these challenges were more likely to say that Instagram made these issues better vs. worse. The one exception was body image. While the headline in the internal slide does not explicitly state it, the research shows one in three of those teenage girls who told us they were experiencing body image issues reported that using Instagram made them feel worse — not one in three of all teenage girls.”


While my opinion is extremely biased because I myself am a teenage girl who had to delete Instagram due to its toxic and detrimental effects on my mental well-being, this whole issue as stated by the article really doesn’t sit right with me. Throughout the article, the Instagram researcher states that out of the 12 factors they study (wow, 12, so exhaustive!) the only one that they found made the issue worse was the issue of teen girls’ body image. 

The only one? This is a major issue. Even more annoying to me was that they tried to dilute the issue by saying that the research shows that Instagram only made the issue worse for those teenage girls struggling with body issues, not all teen girls. How does that make it better at all? The statistics for teenage girls who experience body image issues are extremely high. And how are they to know that Instagram is what caused their body image issues? We subconsciously compare ourselves to others – It is quite a bold thing to base a claim on self-report data for information that is implicitly stored in teenagers’ young minds. But yes, this should be reliable and valid – Of course, they can retrieve this information.

There have been numerous psychological studies focusing on the issue of the effect of social media on individuals’ self-esteem. I find it interesting that this Instagram researcher didn’t collaborate with a psychologist and corroborate their findings that way. This is a much more complex issue than self-report data and in my opinion, this is not fully sound research. There are so many missing components to the issue that are being missed. What are the psychologists saying? Neuroscientists? The people who study the variables that impact the intricacies of our minds? Where are they in this conversation? Instagram is addictive. People don’t want to admit that it makes their issues worse, but it does. You simply cannot expect teenage girls to recognize this for themselves and be able to retrieve these attributions and report them out.


Do you think that we should trust that the results of these research reports are true without the input of other scientists to back up the data? Why or why not? Do you believe them? Do your experiences line up with this?