Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit | Legal Action Investigated for Mental Health Effects on Users

Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit Overview

As social media usage has increased, so too have the negative effects that it can have on young users.

Instagram, in particular, has been found to be damaging to mental health, contributing to problems such as low self esteem, anxiety and eating disorders. 

instagram mental health lawsuit

While social media can be a great way for people to connect with one another, it is important to be aware of the potential risks.

You may qualify for an Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems related to Instagram use.

Additionally, you may qualify for a potential Facebook Mental Health Lawsuit (or Meta Mental Health Lawsuit) if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems related to Facebook (or Meta) use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Teens and young adults who have used Facebook or Instagram and subsequently suffered from mental health impacts may be eligible for a lawsuit. 

If you or a loved one have suffered from any of the following injuries due to Instagram use, contact us for a free consultation: 

  • Depression or depressive symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • ADHD
  • Self harm or suicidal ideation
  • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

You may also use our chatbot below for an instant case evaluation!

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Table of Contents

Mental Health Effects of Instagram on Young Users

Social media companies have grown to become massively influential in the past decade, and issues with how they operate and how users interact with their platforms are starting to become clearer. Instagram is no exception. 

A University of Pennsylvania study suggests that social media use increases depression and loneliness, and data points showed a causal link between time spent on the platforms and decreased well-being. 

The study found that participants who limited their social media use to 30 minutes per day experienced significant decreases in loneliness and depression, while those who continued to use social media for more than two hours per day saw no such improvements.

These findings suggest that Instagram and other social media platforms may have a negative impact on mental health, and that users should be aware of the dangers of excessive screen time.

Instagram and Young Girls and Women: Social Comparison and Negative Mental Health Impacts

Researchers have found that the way people interact with Instagram can impact their mental health, especially for young girls and women. 

While the amount of time spent on Instagram doesn't necessarily correlate to negative effects, it's been found that users who seek social validation through the app are more likely to experience mental health problems.

This is likely due to the unique experiences of young users on Instagram, who are often bombarded with images and messages that can be harmful to their self-esteem and body image.

As a result, it's important for users to be aware of how the app is impacting their mental health and take steps to limit their exposure if necessary.

Social Comparison 

Instagram users who engage in status-seeking content and social comparison suffer from mental health issues, depressive symptoms, and unhealthy self centeredness at much higher rates, putting them at further risks for suicide attempts, eating disorders, sleep problems, and a host of other mental health problems related to their Instagram usage. 

Internal Facebook researchers have known for years that Instagram is harmful for young users, most notably teenage girls.

Internal research presentations are quoted saying "We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls", and "Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression." 

An article published by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health expanded on how Instagram leads teens and young adults into a spiral of depression and anxiety.

Bryn Austin, a professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said that “From experimental research, we know that Instagram, with its algorithmically-driven feeds of content tailored to each user’s engagement patterns, can draw vulnerable teens into a dangerous spiral of negative social comparison and hook them onto unrealistic ideals of appearance and body size and shape.”

Instagram and its Glaring Issues with Sexual Exploitation

Despite its reputation as a relatively safe and family-friendly social media platform, Instagram has become a hotbed for sexual messages, harassment and exploitation of women and young girls. 

In recent years, criminal proceedings have gone forward against men who have used Instagram to sexually exploit young girls, but according to Forbes, Instagram has a relatively hard time keeping sexually explicit content off of their platform.

This is due in part to the fact that Instagram allows users to share photos and videos without any review or approval process. 

As a result, sexually explicit images and videos can be widely distributed before Instagram is even aware of their existence.

Moreover, the platform's reliance on algorithms to determine which content to promote can inadvertently lead to the spread of sexually explicit material.

In light of these problems, it is clear that Instagram needs to do more to protect women and girls from sexual exploitation.

Young People Use Instagram at High Rates

Instagram is incredibly popular among young people in America.

According to Pew Research Center's 7 Facts About Americans and Instagram:

  • Around seven-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 (71%) say they ever use Instagram.
  • In a spring 2018 survey, roughly seven-in-ten U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 (72%) said they used the site.
  • Children ages 11 and younger also engage with Instagram, though in relatively small shares, according to a spring 2020 survey, despite Instagram’s age guidelines which usually restrict children younger than 13 from joining.
  • More than 40% of Instagram users are 22 years old or younger.

The image sharing app was mentioned overwhelmingly in the Facebook Files, an investigative series by the Wall Street Journal that published leaked documents and presentations from an internal source at Facebook.

The leaked presentations are linked below:

Key findings from the leaked internal documents include the following:

  • 66% of teen girls on Instagram experience negative social comparison
  • 52% of teen girls who experienced negative social comparison on Instagram said it was caused by images related to beauty
  • 32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse
  • Harm on Instagram falls into three major categories: social comparison, social pressure, and negative interactions with other people
  • 82% of teens have felt at least one emotional issue in the past month, and one in five has thought about suicide or self-injury
  • The boundary between social media and in person relationships is often blurred, which can negatively impact self esteem and mental health in general.
  • Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Teenage users who struggle with mental health say that Instagram makes it worse and the positive aspects do not outweigh its negative impacts on self esteem and mental health

Filing a Lawsuit for Instagram Mental Health Effects: How Can Facebook Be Held Liable?

Our team of attorneys is currently investigating the viability of lawsuits against Instagram, Facebook (Meta) alleging harm.

Instagram has been proven to negatively impact adolescent health, contributing to low self esteem issues, social anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorders, sleep problems, and other lasting emotional scars.

Potential Injuries In an Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit

Teens and young adults who have used Facebook or Instagram and subsequently suffered from mental health impacts may be eligible for a lawsuit. 

If you or a loved one have suffered from any of the following, contact us for a free consultation: 

  • Depression or depressive symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • ADHD
  • Self harm or suicidal ideation
  • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

Potential Damages In an Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit

Damages in a personal injury lawsuit refer to any losses, economic or non-economic, incurred as a result of an incident. 

In an Instagram Mental Health case, damages could include some of the following:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damage

Other potential damages are possible.

As the legal pressure on Instagram and Facebook (Meta) grows, more damages may become viable in claims for compensation.

TorHoerman Law: Investigating Legal Action Against Instagram, Facebook (Meta)

TorHoerman Law attorneys are currently investigating potential litigation on behalf of those suffering mental health problems and other issues due to Instagram use.

We understand the detrimental effects social media can have on young people and how Instagram has evaded responsibility for its part in the mental suffering of some teenage users. 

We are currently investigating and strategizing how to effectively move forward with legal action.

If you or a loved one have suffered from mental health problems potentially caused by social media usage, particularly Instagram, you may qualify for a claim.

Contact us today for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify instantly. 

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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