Instagram, Mental Health, and Self-esteem

You’ve seen the latest headlines–the ones about the negative effect Instagram is having on teen girls’ mental health, the facts stemming from a recently unearthed report from Instagram’s parent company, Facebook. 

Sadly, I wasn’t surprised at what was gleaned from the report, as OneHope’s own research has revealed similar trends in our Global Youth Culture study. If we take a closer look at the data from the United States, the teens who are heavy internet users, online +10 hours daily, are more than twice as likely to report that they have had suicidal thoughts and even attempted suicide within the past three months. 

Our research also revealed that girls struggle more with mental health than boys, but it’s heartbreaking to see the extent to which both genders struggle.

The Instagram report isn’t the first time social media platforms have wilted in the spotlight. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the scope, regulations, or power these platforms should have. Let’s table that conversation for today to focus on two other questions: 

If social media is here to stay, how do we equip young people to have their self-esteem rooted in their identity as a son or daughter of God? 

How do we help teens cling to Scripture when they’re tempted to listen to the whisper of the enemy that says they aren’t ‘good enough’? 

We need to equip the next generation to navigate their complex relationship with their digital devices and social media. OneHope created the Feed initiative, innovative Scripture resources for teens that engage them in unfiltered conversation around God’s Word. The free #RealMe small group series covers the intersection of faith and social media, helping students explore what it looks like to follow Jesus both online and offline. 

We see the truth of God’s Word offers freedom from the comparison traps and endless scrolling with verses like these: 

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 

  • I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 (NIV) 

Together, we can help young people stand strong in their faith and assured in their identity.

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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.8 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

2 thoughts on “Instagram, Mental Health, and Self-esteem

  1. Thanks very much for the information, Sir. OneHope is really working very hard by the grace of God. OneHope is really God-sent and a force to reckon with in ministry. Hallelujah!!
    By the grace of God, I have discovered that the enemy has been and is still fighting against the truth and the Church (body of Christ). The spirit of Antichrist is already in the world 1 John 4:3) even though the Church is expecting the beast as revealed in the book of Revelation chapter 13. We know about the image King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt about.
    By the grace of God, I have realized that the solution to the battle between the antichrist or if you like the devil and the Church (body of Christ) with all it’s associated challenges is to catch the full revelation and experience of the New Creation Being as taught in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    Presently, everything shows that most Christians do not know ‘ who they really are in Christ’. This is simply because the spirit of antichrist has managed to down play, water down, deceive, or hinder the Church ( body of Christ) from catching the full revelation of the New Creation Being as known by the Founding fathers. The New Creation Being is simply an overcomer (1 John 5:4)
    Jesus Christ came to reveal God to the world and to reconcile the world to God which He did. The Body of Christ ( the Church) is expecting to reveal Christ to the world and to reconcile the world to God through Christ which she would do. Praise God!!
    The solution is in the New Testament, and not the Old Testament which points to Jesus Christ.
    God bless you richly, Sir for the opportunity and shalom ❣️!!

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