A 30-foot-long fun house mirror is taking a stand in Flatiron Plaza against social media dependency, according to Talkspace, an online therapy site that designed the metaphoric statue to display the potential dangers of social media addiction.
The Huffington Post reports a study from Ottawa Public Health found that teens who use social media for more than two hours a day are at a high risk of suffering from mental illnesses.
Facebook likes and Instagram hearts have distorted our self-image, says Talkspace co-founder Roni Frank.
The fun house mirror, which stood in the plaza for most of the day Thursday, plays off of this by reflecting an unrecognizable reflection of ourselves, Frank said.
Threatening words cover the wide, contorted sculpture reading, “Social media use has been shown to increase negative body images” and “trigger anxiety symptoms.”
The potential negative impacts have been well documented. A University of Michigan study shows that the more people used Facebook, the more dissatisifed they were with their lives.
“We are not saying social media is a bad thing but it has addictive qualities and takes control of our mental health,” Frank said.
Her husband and Talkspace co-founder, Oren Frank, compared the addictive potential of social media to smoking.
“It becomes almost like cigarettes,” he said.
Although reflections in the fun house mirror are contorted there is one part that is clear, the far end. Bystanders can see themselves for who they truly are at the end of the fun house mirror.
“Awesome,” viewers read on the sculpture while admiring themselves.
Two girls stopping by the display wrapped their hands together in a heart shape while looking into their realistic reflections, drawing a smile from Frank.
The Franks want online users to know that users should not feel validated by Facebook likes.
Frank's solution is to decrease social media dependency. She offers a 12-week social media therapy so users can gain control of their usage and mental health.
More information about Talkspace can be found online at talkspace.com or on the mobile app.