- The Internet and technology have introduced social media.
- Examples include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & LinkedIn.
- Instagram allows users to shares pictures & videos.
- It has both positive and negative consequences on the users.
- Instagram is associated with issues of self-awareness (Burkell & Saginur, 2015).
- This paper focuses on effects on Instagram on mental health.
The advent of the internet and technology came with various things that have changed the way people live and behave. One of the major introductions is the social media which refers to the channels of connecting with others. They include avenues of sharing videos, pictures, and texts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others. Despite the positive influences, social media has had a fair share of negative consequences on the user. This paper narrows down to the effects of Instagram on mental health.
Effects of Instagram
- Ease of communication around the world.
- It is an area where people interact and share ideas.
- Continued use of social media raises anxiety & depression.
- Comparing yourself with other users causes self-esteem issues.
- The diversity of users may lead to social insecurities.
- An avenue where users validate their bodies & achievements (Mennecke, 2018).
The above picture shows the three main things that is linked to the misuse of Instagram and other social media sites. The first two bullets provide the positive influences of Instagram. Self-esteem describes the confidence in one’s actions and beliefs.
Effects of Instagram (continuation)
- Acts as a platform where users mimic other lifestyles, cultures, & behaviors.
- It hampers career progression to some people.
- The virtual world tends to compromise some sense of happiness.
- People react to situations and events that they have seen on Instagram.
- Unhealthy competition and frantic race for success with strangers (Dion, 2016).
The contemporary society has taken social media and Instagram as the source of new ideas on lifestyle, behaviors, and even cultures.
Too much concentration on the trends has the potential to hinder career growth and development.
People tend to switch their moods and attitudes based on what is trending online. For instance, reported deaths and injuries make all users mourn.
There are cases where people commit suicide because they were unable to compete with the virtual friends.
- It has the potential to exert unnecessary pressure on an individual’s life.
- Instagram tend to set agendas for its users (Joseph, 2015).
- Users have strict deadlines that follow the mass thinking.
- The race could be about the number of likes, posts, or comments.
- Instagram influences the nature or environment of interaction.
- People tend to follow trending photos and forgetting about real life issues.
As a continuation, the pressure exerted from Instagram is too much because one compares with people from different socio-demographics.
It has been taken as a platform that controls the agenda for the day. What is trending tend to be the discussion for the day.
Strict deadlines and inability to meet them introduces fear, anxiety, and unhappiness.
It may also be seen as a platform that controls the natural environment of a user.
The above picture shows trending hash tags that people follow because they change on a daily basis.
- According to Walton (2018), reduction in social media usage translates to lower levels of anxiety.
- One would become conscious of real world with less use of Instagram.
- The advent of Selfie is a new phenomenon in online validation.
- Some memes and images might disturb the viewers.
Research has shown a close association between social media usage and levels of anxiety and depression.
The introduction of selfie has led to the new ways of seeking approval of the virtual world.
Youths tend to compete for the best picture of the world and the use of memes which might disturb other users.
- It has limited physical interactions where people meet for discussions.
- Virtual interactions are linked to loneliness.
- Inability to understand the correct impression or fake users.
- Loss of memory of useful events that happen in real life.
- It lowers the mental capabilities to interact with others.
- It comes with huge demands including sleeping time (Walton, 2018).
The above picture shows a social media user who is addicted to an extent that he cannot sleep.
Such people focus on social media content more than what is happening in the real world.
- Too much use of social media is attributed to high expectations & sadness.
- It leads to frustration especially if one is unable to cope with followers (Whimn, 2018).
- Bullies may use this avenue to discredit one’s image & reputation.
- Adolescents & young women get stressed and lonely when they are not appreciated.
(Makwana et al, 2018).
The picture shows a young woman who feels hated and lonely after receiving no likes in her Instagram post.
She had high expectations and hopes when posting the picture.
She is unable to adjust to the situation because she wants to cope with the followers who have many likes and comments.
- Instagram compromises physical connection and talking.
- Celebrities use Instagram to propagate false beliefs about the societal expectations.
- Social media has addiction (Livingston, 2018)
- It has been used to spread vices like sex & drug abuse.
Social media has been associated with dissociation and unfriendly behavior where everyone looks at their phone without regard to the people around them.
Instagram and other sites have addiction.
The teachers, parents, and the community has little control over what the youths obtain from the social media.
- Social media came to improve communication globally (Seabrook et al, 2016).
- However, misuse of these sites is associated with harmful effects.
- It has been used for self-identity and self-expression.
- Excessive use of these sites influences mental health wellbeing.
- Mental health effects of Instagram are seen through depression & anxiety.
- Confining people to the virtual world compromises social security (Macmillan, 2017).
In summary, social media has its fair share of positives and negatives.
However, when it comes to the mental health, Instagram has been shown to affect the livelihoods of people.
The aspects of self-identity and self-expression has been perpetuated through the social media in today’s environment.
- Burkell, J., & Saginur, M. (2015). She’s just a small town girl, living in an online world: differences and similarities between urban and rural girls’ use of and views about online social networking. E Girls, eCitizens: Putting technology, theory and policy into dialogue with girls’ and young women’s voices (pp. 129-152). University of Ottawa.
- Dion, N. A. (2016). The effect of Instagram on self-esteem and life satisfaction. Fader, S. (n.d.). Social media obsession and anxiety.
- Joseph, G. (2015). Social media: Social media and internet evidence. Litigation, 41(4), 8-9.
- Livingston, E. (2018, May 14). Instagram and your mental health: the big picture.
- Macmillan, A. (2017, May 25). Why Instagram is the worst social media for mental health. Time Magazine.