A set of parents is suing Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, for damages they allege occurred to their daughter as a result of her becoming obsessed with her appearance and perception due to the social media platforms.

In a lawsuit filed by the Social Media Victims Law Center, Kathleen and Jeff Spence shared that their now 19-year-old daughter Alexis began using Instagram when she was 11 and became so obsessed with her appearance and what others thought of her that she developed an eating disorder and had suicidal ideation. They are suing for past and present medical expenses for their daughter, as well as future loss of income.

Claiming that their daughter developed an Instagram addiction as a minor that led to an eating disorder and suicidal ideation, a now 19-year-old woman and her parents are suing Meta for past and present medical expenses and future loss of income.

In the complaint, the Spences claim that their daughter's addiction to Instagram was the catalyst that led to other addiction, depression, self-harm, eating disorders and even suicideal ideations.

It should be noted the platform's required age for use is 13.

Still, the Spences claim that by Meta's purposed and addictive design, their family was emotionally and financially harmed and they're seeking past and present medical expenses and future loss of income in damages.

The Social Media Victims Lawsuit center has already filed another lawsuit on behalf of a mom who claims that the social media platform's negligence and purposed design led to her daughter's suicide.

Attorney Matthew Bergman is representing the Spence family, and in an article with USA Today, said that we all are in favor of parental responsibility, but the nature of Instagram is one that is designed to go against parental authority.

Court documents also show that the Spence family allege the symptoms Alexis experienced were because Meta pushed how she was supposed to look to be popular through its platform Instagram. It alleges that Meta promoted images of self-harm and Alexis was exposed to these images.

The Spences allege that they fought for Alexis and did everything they could to get her help once they knew there was a problem, but that Meta purposely allows for such content in an attempt to keep teens using the platform.

Meta has information about parental control locks for minors on its website, and it also has disclaimers about usage of its platforms for children under the age of 13.

This suit also references The Facebook Papers, which were released in October of 2021 in The Wall Street Journal and which revealed that the company knew that 1 in 3 teens had negative body images because of Instagram.

This is not ours to judge, and we'll be watching to see how courts react as we believe fully that social media platforms are designed to keep users coming back.

That said, when a platform specifically designates that it's not appropriate for those under 13, and parents allow for that usage?

What can we say but pay the most careful attention you can to what goes in your child's mind and soul.