How did “Instagram” destroy the lives of Moroccan teenagers?

Smooth skin, crooked bodies, Instagram is littered with photos of flawless bodies of happy influencers boasting their perfect holiday photos. What effect do these photos have on teenage girls, and how can they harm their lives?

“I felt contempt for myself and my family”

Israa is 15 years old, living in Casablanca, Morocco. She had an Instagram account, and she deleted it because she was depressed. She talks about her experience with this platform and says: “Most of my schoolmates have accounts on Instagram, they post their photos and follow famous videos, so I felt I should have an account on this platform as well.” And the Moroccan teenager adds: “I was initially a big fan of photos and videos, and I followed for a very long time. Instagram celebrities in Morocco, but after a while I started to feel sad because I do not have a body Perfect like them, and my family does not have the means to travel and take photos in restaurants like them, I felt contempt for myself and my family, because I am not beautiful, and we do not have money to to travel those places and eat in such restaurants.

“Instagram”, made Israel feel dissatisfied, which left psychological repercussions for her, “with the help of my mother who introduced me to a psychologist, I managed to overcome this feeling of dissatisfaction and depression, which made me life would have destroyed and negatively affected. my studies, ”and says that she was able, thanks to the support of the family, who went through what they suffered because of“ Instagram ”, but not all families in Morocco are aware of the dangers of this platform for teenage girls like Israel’s family.

“Get money anyway”

Lamia, a 15-year-old Moroccan teenager, says: “When I browse Instagram, I feel like it’s a world just for people with money and beautiful bodies. I belong to an average family, and we do not have the financial means to lead that life. ” Most of the Instagram celebrities in Morocco are uneducated girls. , They got money through social media. Some of their videos include sexual innuendo and swear words, showing their purchases and a different life than Moroccan society “At school we talk about these influences and their emotional and sexual relationship, and how they live freely and have money to buy and travel the latest brands, “Lamia continues. “their lives have become a dream for the majority of girls, and there are those who take them as role models and consider it necessary to obtain money in any way to lead a life of luxury.” Lamia adds, “Some of my friends imitate an influential Moroccan dress style living in Spain, and even her way of speaking, and they dream of being like her and having a sexy body.”

The videos of this Moroccan influencer include sexual innuendos and swear words, but are followed by millions of teenage girls in Morocco and Algeria.

“Silicon Valley”

Hakim Al Hashoumi, a film director and expert on social networking sites in Germany, believes that “the danger of Instagram is that it takes girls into an ideal world and isolates them from reality. Social communication, that’s what leads this group of adolescent girls to a psychological state of imbalance and dissatisfaction. He added, “Teenage girls display their photos after being modified by cosmetic applications, and over time they think their Instagram photos are the truth, and they do not accept their real photos. not causing them psychological crises and depression. “

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And about the lack of interest in the Arab world about the seriousness of the “Instagram” platform. Al-Hashumi says, “The Arab world is still isolated from the interest and study of virtual reality, which constitutes the awareness of the new generation, and this is a great danger because the socialization of children and adolescents in the Arab world has gone further. the family, school and the media, but became in the hands of the ‘Silicon Valley’ in California in the United States, and also in China with the “Tik Tok” platform, and that’s what a great split between the generation of social networking sites and the previous generations. ”

“Digital ego”

In the same context. “Instagram is very popular among small groups, the Corona era has contributed to the huge demand for these platforms, and teenagers’ discovery of themselves goes through digital technologies, unlike previous generations,” says Kawthar Boubakar, a specialist in the field. of nanotechnology in Belgium The danger is that this information obtained by adolescents through social networking sites is inaccurate, like conspiracy theory, and there is an important aspect that determines the relationship of adolescent girls to the Instagram platform, which is the desire to to reach the digital ego. , due to the development that the world is heading in the field of technology. And technology, we step to the so-called digital identities, living in the virtual realm, and Instagram markets unreal images, that life is an ideal and permanent happiness, and that it is a permanent consumption of lusts and pleasures, and adds Boubacar added, “Adolescents who do not have the perfect body feel hopeless and friendly depression, and the inability to achieve what influencers achieve on social networking sites, and it creates an inferiority contract for them,” and “these platforms on social media directly affects the social system. ” Nervous for adolescents, because their brains are still in the process of formation, causing them to be influenced by influencers who do not have an educational level or certain talents, especially in Arab societies.

“They reduce success to posting sexually suggestive videos”

Kawthar Boubakar continues, “Adolescents strive to have a digital ego beyond their physical and material abilities, and they feel dissatisfied because they market unreal images of themselves on these platforms, which are admired but not real.” They reduce success to sexual postings suggestive videos, which create a desire in teenage girls that they can make money on social media as fast as these celebrities, and that it does not require fatigue and zeal.

The “Instagram” platform has been criticized for its negative impact on the lives of teenage girls in the world, according to the “Wall Street Journal”, which obtained documents from the company “Meta” which says: “We insult the body image of one in three teenage girls. “

On the other hand, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stressed before the US Congress that social media has a positive impact on people’s mental health.

Desire to commit suicide

According to a study conducted last summer by the international non-governmental organization “Rights5”, which provides secure digital offerings for children, the organization interviewed the designers of these applications and did not disclose their identities to get honest answers , as each of them said that the purpose of these applications is to control the behavior of the user, according to the German newspaper “Welt”, a survey conducted last year among 50,000 users in different countries of the world, revealed that 48 percent of girls compare their looks to “Instagram” photos.

A submission from another survey showed that 13 per cent of British teenagers surveyed considered suicide as a result of Instagram, compared to 6 per cent in the US.

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