The family allege that as Alexis’ social media addiction grew worse, she “became sleep deprived, became anxious, and felt guilty about what she was doing to her family,” who did not know that she was operating multiple accounts online.
They also added that because of “Instagram’s addictive design and product features,” her “relationship with her parents greatly suffered,” noting that it often felt like it was “her and her devices against her parents.”
As a result of Instagram pushing “extreme weight loss content” onto Alexis’ feed, her parents claim she became “obsessed with her weight,” adding, “From the outset, Alexis’ Explore page was filled with nothing but overly thin models and thigh gaps.”
In 2018, Alexis, who was described in the suit as a “confident and happy child,” was hospitalized for depression, anxiety and anorexia. The family alleges that it was a direct result of “the harmful content and features Instagram relentlessly promoted and provided to her in its effort to increase engagement.”
The suit alleged that, following her hospitalization, Alexis has undergone “professional counseling, in-patient programs, outpatient programs, and eating disorder programs, and she will likely require help in the form of a service dog for the rest of her life.”
“She must stay in constant contact with her doctors, and fights to stay in recovery every day,” the documents continued. “Alexis will suffer permanent mental and emotional damages because of what Instagram has done.”