A recent Epigram article has caused mass controversy for the provocative message that social media is harmful to mental health. In a recent interview with Epigram journalist Evie Barter she explains how she was inspired to write the article by those stickers girls in Hiatt Baker put on their iPhone cases that say ‘Social media seriously harms your mental health’ and look a bit like the warning you get on a packet of cigarettes.
Barter’s article instantly stimulated debate, with readers left in awe. Whilst many deem the article to be too controversial, others have commended Epigram for its countercultural chutzpah. Even the Dalai Lama himself has voiced his support, saying: “Finally, someone brave enough to say it! A new era of journalism is here: the time of controversial issues being swept under the rug is over. Epigram, I applaud you.”
The article cites a recent study which documents the damaging and detrimental effects of trolling. The recent experiment found that teenagers reported feeling unhappy when a researcher commented on their Instagram posts saying they look “fat and clapped.” It goes onto explain how being constantly bombarded by unrealistic expectations of wealth and body image may have a negative effect on the mental health of young people.
Within 10 minutes of the article being published the share price of Facebook plummeted by 3.4%. CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the crash saying: “I don’t know what to do: this Epigram newspaper is bringing the industry to its knees. Users are deleting their accounts by the million every minute.” It is speculated that the major shareholders are selling their stock in favour of more ethical businesses involved in Tobacco or arms dealing.
One thing that has left readers baffled is the ever-present question: what will they do next? Rumours are circulating that Epigram’s next feature piece may be on how racism is actually really bad. However, it is speculated that this may be too provocative even for a radical and nail-biting publication like Epigram.