COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The decision to put a hold on the development of “Instagram kids” has been met with praise from the child psychology community.

“I was delighted to hear that they’re putting a pause in this plan. Internal studies from Facebook for the past three years have shown that Instagram harms young users, particularly girls, and Instagram is designed for young users. We know that over 40% are 22 or younger,” said Dr. Mary Fristad, Director of Academic Affairs & Research Development at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Division of Child & Family Psychiatry.

A recent investigative series by The Wall Street Journal found that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

“Eight to 13% of teens are saying that it leads to suicidal thoughts. Over 40% say that they feel unattractive when they’re on Instagram, about a quarter say they feel not good enough,” Fristad said. “And it’s undermining confidence in the strength of friendships.”

Fristad says the less time kids spend on social media the better, and it should be balanced with real-life social activities such as sports, drama or music, religious groups, family activities, or volunteering.

If we look back to the people who’ve invented all of these devices, the Apple co founder Steve Jobs would not let his own kids use this technology, wouldn’t let them use the iPad that his company created.

Bill Gates wouldn’t let his kids have phones until they were 14.

Kevin Systrom, who’s the Instagram co founder expressed his fears about his daughter growing up being exposed to the bullying that happens on Instagram.

And another former Facebook executive said that he has tremendous guilt for helping to create and promote Facebook success. He wouldn’t let his own kids use it.

So the people who know the inside scoop, know how potentially damaging this is.

Dr. Mary Fristad
Director of Academic Affairs & Research Development at NCH Division of Child & Family Psychiatry

JewishColumbus and Nationwide Childen’s Hospital have partnered for a free online seminar for parents who want to learn more about the impact of social media on kids. It will take place virtually on October 24 from 3-4 p.m. CLICK HERE to learn more and register.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Fristad in the video below.