Negative impacts of social media on our youth

Instagram has new policy that blocks posts from minors
Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 21:34:27-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — It can be a tough world in the realm of social media. Our feeds are often filled with unattainable images of beauty.

"It is hard to see that perfect image of this perfect body that is so glorified and not want to do what they are promoting," said 17-year-old Lexi Reynish.

The Instagram initiative is aimed at keeping users under the age of 18 from seeing posts promoting weight loss products and cosmetic procedures.

Mental health experts warn being constantly exposed to those photo shopped images, the latest weigh loss fads and nips and tucks can take a toll on people's mental health -- at any age.

"When they see things on social media from famous people or advertisements or even peers they get the perception that that is normalized behavior and that everyone is doing it," said Ann Sherwood, Prevention Supervisor of Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

Experts hail the social media giant for the move, but urge parents to still have open conversations with their children about the potential negative impacts.

"It is very important at the time you give your child a smart phone or a device that they are able to access this information, there should really be rules and expectations set up from the beginning about monitoring and time frames, and where those phones going to be used," said Sherwood.