Michael Parducci

Social Software

Professor Tusman


Instagram is Adult Entertainment

I find Ross Douthat's opinion on Instagram is adult entertainment very interesting, especially since it’s his opinion. The main point in this article isn’t about how instagram is ruining people’s lives or how we should stay off of instragram, but instead Douthat explains how instagram isn’t for kids since it has adult entertainment. For example, he talks about how “The Wall Street Journal reported on what Facebook’s own internal research shows about how Instagram, its photo-based social network, affects the mental state of the roughly 22 million teenagers who log on in the U.S. every day.” I also liked how he talks about other social media platforms and sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and Tiktok. Douthat mentions how restraining a minor’s decision can be difficult since usually teenagers would usually use Instagram and it would be hard to tell them not to. I liked how he talks about how social media companies are trying to regulate their relationship with teenagers such as Facebook starting a version of Instagram for kids.

I do agree with Ross Douthat’s opinion because he does make some good points in this article. Instagram isn’t a site for children because they can be exposed to photos and videos that they aren’t old enough to understand. Also, instagram can be used for bullying such as, someone setting up a fake account of the victim and posting embarrassing posts. He also talks about decisions that would be made by asking adults for example, “Many of the problems created by internet companies involve the aggregation of decisions made, for want of a better phrase, by consenting adults.” Instagram can be dangerous for teens' mental health because of how it can damage one’s body perception, sleep and fear of missing out. Some teens that use Instagram could lead them to suicidal thoughts due to bullying, or seeing posts and pictures that make them feel worse about themselves.

I think that Douthat’s prescription would be effective because he provided good information from other sources and from himself. One of the sources he used in his article was Chris Hayes' essay in the New Yorker where he talks about internet fame and a key problem with social media being it’s scale. It can help parents know more about the dangers of Instagram and how it can harm their children if they're not old enough. In the article he talks about how social media can be used by kids who’re unhappy and isolated, “Arguably social media supplies essential forms of connection and belonging for kids who are isolated and unhappy in their flesh-and-blood environments.” Douthat does explain that preventing children and teenagers from using social media wouldn’t be achieved perfectly since some would slip in, as long as we social media is updated and won’t let you in unless you're 18 or older. I believe that this is something that should be taken seriously and I hope that social media will know about this in the future.