With the popularity of social media today, it’s hard to believe that young people say four of the five most popular social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter), actually make their feelings of anxiety worse. Overall, the rates of anxiety and depression have increased by 70% in the past 25 years.
But one startup is changing the social media game with a new social network that’s for women only, and is completely anonymous.
The founder, Ana Pompa Alarcón Rawls, first got the idea to create findSisterhood after the birth of her second child a couple years ago. As an immigrant mom without any family in the United States, she felt there was a need to have a support system to help raise her children. After using the app, other moms quickly resonated with Rawls’ feelings of isolation and loneliness and the user base grew to a thousand women in just a few short weeks.
It’s Not About Perfect Lives And Pretty Selfies
A survey taken in Britain last year revealed that respondents, who were between 14 and 24 years of age, felt Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter had detrimental effects on their well being. While they recognized that social media gave them an outlet for self-expression and building a community, they also said it worsened feelings of anxiety and depression, caused sleep deprivation, body image issues, and exposed them to bullying. This does not paint a great picture for social networks that claim to help you connect and share with the people in your life.
“We are under so much pressure to post perfect pictures and happy quotes,” says Rawls. “And we don’t raise kids in villages with shared wisdom anymore. This generation of moms is the loneliest generation of all time.”
One study, conducted by the Department of Psychology at York University, even reports that taking and posting selfies on social media has adverse psychological effects. The study states that “women who took and posted selfies to social media reported feeling more anxious, less confident, and less physically attractive afterwards.”
When you look at how many women use social media and spend a significant amount of time on the numerous platforms, it can be a cause for concern. For example, 89% of female internet users also have a Facebook account, and 65% use Pinterest.