As the popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram rises, a question is often raised. Can Instagram have an effect on your mental health? While there are arguments to be made on either side, this is still a raging debate that seems to have no end.
It is true that sites like Instagram can cause a decrease in self-esteem that often leads to depression. However, is Instagram just a negative cesspool? There has been a lot of research on whether Instagram can affect mental health and the results are a mixed bag.
Is Instagram Affecting your Mental Health?
Today, one third of the world ‘s population is on Instagram and Facebook. This is down to three billion people who use social media in some form in their daily lives. Instagram recently crossed the one billion mark, making it the most popular social media platform in existence. Instagram draws a younger user base compared to Facebook or Twitter. The average age group of Instagram users remains below 35 years of age.
It’s understandable why the youth are connecting to the platform. It’s true that sites like Instagram can cause a decrease in self-esteem that often leads to depression. Most people on Instagram jump at the opportunity to get their five minutes of fame. In fact, there have been instances where people have used extreme measures to gain attention.
How Instagram Damages
You Start Comparing Your Life to Other People’s Highlights
Comparing yourself to others may be detrimental to your mental health. This is one of the main reasons behind Instagram’s sense of social isolation. You are probably guilty of comparing yourself to others and wondering how you measure yourself.
It is important to remember that people only share the best parts of their day with Instagram. This can create a sense of isolation and make you feel like you’re not good enough. When in doubt, try to remember that we don’t post about our fights with our family, our days with hormonal acne, or laundry day. And the ones who do, often add filters and still dress up for it.
It Can Create Feelings of Jealousy and Resentment
Seeing other people’s beach vacations and perfectly healthy meals can contribute to envy. You may feel happy for your friends while still experiencing jealousy. These feelings of resentment may make Instagram a breeding ground for negative thoughts and feelings.
Some people are responding to this by lashing out through cyberbullying. Others try to make their own lives look better by posting jealousy-inducing posts, creating a vicious circle of one-upmanship. You can have a healthy relationship with social media only when your jealousy is in check.
It Can Lead to Stress and A Loss of Productivity
Instagram is addictive and will eat up a lot of your time if you’re not careful. We’re all living busy lives, and time is a precious resource. Scrolling and clicking might not be the best way to use your time.
This is why social media platforms are referred to as “digital black holes.”
You might think that unconsciously scrolling through Instagram is a great way to kill boredom, but before you know it, you’re going to spend hours online. Instagram’s endless waste of time can be a huge productivity killer and can even affect your performance at work. This can cause unnecessary stress, which has a damaging effect on your mental health.
Social networking sites like Instagram have become an important part of human contact and interaction. The many problems with Instagram is not enough to bring down the app. However, you can recognize beneficial accounts that work to build a safe space. For instance, dToks works to create a healthy community on Instagram. By recognizing and avoiding problematic use, you will be able to find the right balance and have positive Instagram experiences.
Edited by: Priyanka Srinivas