The Dark Side of Instagram

The Dark Side of Instagram. Instagram is the most widely used picture-sharing app in the world. Not only celebrities but normal people use it to be connected and know a little more about the world. Especially youths, who have found that Instagram has everything they’ve asked for. They can follow their favorite stars, food and fitness accounts, or learn something or simply let themselves fly by the precious landscapes and breathtaking places.

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The Dark Side of Instagram

Nevertheless, there’s a problem with Instagram and youths

some of them use it to share images related to depression or eating disorders. That’s, at least, what research by the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Lab has concluded after looking at some hashtags closely. Dr Megan Moreno, who specialized in teenager medicine at the Washington University.

According to Dr Moreno, this kind of content is a general trend in social media, despite the platforms’ efforts to control the issue. Teenagers and youngsters modify some words, changing the order of letters or adding extra ones, in order to get the contents they want to post past Instagram’s filters. That’s the case of the well known hashtag #Ana, used to promote and show anorexia-related pictures and behaviors; #Deb, used for depression; #Olive, to talk and show about OCD’s and #Cat to talk about self-harming. The latter is the most used by youths, and had more than 56 million pictures throughout 2015.

How many of this #Cat pictures are related to cutting and how many to cats? Dr Moreno says that the figures are alarming. However, Instagram is trying to help those who suffer this kind of disorders, and now links people who use certain hashtags to sites and telephones that can help them go through their problem and get over it. That shows that, whenever there is a big problem, Instagram also gives solutions.

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