A renewed search for self-worth.

A renewed search for self-worth.

In today’s media, we are being inundated with internal information about all the things Facebook has been doing as a company to exploit our children. The Wall Street Journal began a podcast series called the Facebook Files and listening to the stories leaves me feeling like my faith in humanity is being put to the test. Now we have concrete data from Facebook’s very own research telling us they knew 1 in 3 teens had body image issues as the result of using Instagram. Yet, these Silicon Valley giants have continued to rake in billions of dollars at the expense of our children. Where is the accountability and the outrage?

As a mom and a career technologist, I’ve long worried about the social media effects on my kids and their friends as I watched them use these apps every day for hours at a time. Trying to get your teens to reduce the amount of time they were online was like cutting off their right arm. And try to take away the phone? My girls described it as social suicide. What most parents don’t really understand is these apps define who you are on the popularity totem pole.  Popularity is defined by likes and follows. Your self-worth is defined by your post, your video or your story going viral. We’ve seen teen girls take down a post when it doesn’t get enough likes in an hour. How is any of this good for mental health?

Now more than ever, a safe online space free from comparison and toxicity is needed for teenage girls and young adult women. The liv2bme app is a positive supportive platform for teen girls that seeks to inspire healthy self-image through kind interactions and meaningful connections. Our app is a space where girls can talk about real issues, they face every day and get valuable feedback and advice from peers and mentors. While we don’t expect our app will replace some of the popular social media giants like TikToc, SnapChat or Instagram, we hope it will serve as an additional way teenage girls and young women can connect authentically online.