Tech Giants Face Pressing Scrutiny

Meta: Instagram app loading screenshot showing the owner to be the now rebranded Meta inc.

Yusuf Abdelsalam

Meta: Instagram app loading screenshot showing the owner to be the now rebranded Meta inc.

Yusuf Abdelsalam, Staff Writer

     New information suggests social media is degrading the younger generation’s mental health.There has been recent scrutiny over Facebook due to internal leaks and reports. This began with a whistleblower sharing documents with the media which included Covid-19 misinformation. 

     The Wall Street Journal also published a series of articles based on Facebook’s own research and communications leaked by the whistleblower. The findings included one in three teenage girls say Instagram, owned by what is now professionally Meta Inc., made their body image issues worse.

     “I recently got Snapchat about two to three months ago. At first, I wasn’t addicted or at all super interested in it, but as time progressed, so did my interest,” says sophomore Karthikeya Lakoji, “I found myself just staring at my phone, looking at inane stories on Snapchat. So yeah, I often find myself having to stop myself from spending a lot of time on social media.”

     It is not just Facebook that is in the hot seat. Youtube, Snapchat, and TikTok have recently seen U.S. Senate hearings. Lawmakers pressed the officials about how the apps have been misused to promote bullying, worsen eating disorders, and expose teenagers to drugs or risky behavior.

     Computer science teacher at Foran, Mr. David Spinetti, says, “The only social media I use is Reddit. I browse all for ‘big news’ that I don’t want to miss socially like a celebrity passing away, or other larger news story. I also browse the guildwars2 subreddit to keep up with news on the game.” He explains that finds himself wanting there to be something new whenever he visits and also closing and reopening the app when bored.

     “It wasn’t until my two year old son started reacting to my phone habits like miming taking out a phone, checking it, or trying to steal my phone because I’m looking at it instead of playing, that I realized that it was a problem,” says Spinetti. He says that now he is trying to browse less and trying to be aware of how much time he feels he is wasting.

     “I don’t personally browse places where it would make sense to compare myself to others, as such I don’t feel that it has impacted my self image too much.” Mr. Spinetti elaborated by stating that time on social media is something he will always classify as wasted time as he feels there is no real benefit to it. 

     “That same amount of time watching a show, reading, playing a video game, something that I can make progress in feels better when reflecting at the end of the day even though it can be equally unproductive from the scope of chores.”