Instagram is a visual platform in which its user communicate to their network mostly via photos and videos. It first was launched in 2013 and today it has over a billion active users and has become a part of daily life.
Since it turned into a daily habit, researchers cared enough to see how much impact it has on youths’ lives.
Instagram Is The Most Toxic Platform For Mental Health
Time reports that according to the Royal Society for Public Health in the United Kingdom, Instagram is the top harmful social media platform for youths’ mental health!
The research took place among 1479 people that attendees were between 14-24 years old. They were asked to say how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat make them feel in both negative or positive ways.
Interviewees were supposed to answer 14 questions regarding each platform and what they feel while using the app. Plus, they were asked how much of an impact each platform has on the quality of sleep, body image, FOMO, and bullying.
Studying the result, it was determined that Instagram has the most harmful impact on these youths’ wellbeing and Youtube seemed to have the best result. After that Twitter and Facebook were the least harmful ones respectively. Snapchat also was determined to be very harmful to well-being considering its very close result to Instagram.
How Instagram Is The Most Harmful Platform?
Poor Sleep Cycle: According to the research, all mentioned social media platforms were reported as the cause of poor sleep cycle and exhaustion.
Body Image: One of the reasons Instagram has become the top harmful is that it distorted body image. Youths, especially young women, keep comparing themselves with the perfect yet edited and filtered body of other users and come to believe that they are not good enough.
The number of followers: As you might know on Facebook, you become friends with other users and it is not clear on Facebook who intended to become friends first. But Instagram divided them into followings and followers and it seems there is a competition on Instagram on who gets more followers, likes, comments, etc.
That is why people go out of their way to do the things they wouldn’t do normally to get more likes and followers, from Instagram services such as Instagram followers app to the things that do not even make sense such as buying robot followers!
False need: Since Instagram has become very popular, Businesses found their way on the platform and via influencers started to generate false needs to the things you can not afford!
And finally, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): FOMO was the final reason researchers chose Instagram to be the most toxic platform. Seeing posts of friends going out every night or travel luxuriously causes youths to feel they are missing out on the enjoyment of life. Or cute couple videos and photos make them not enjoy their single life anymore!
What To Do? Should You Leave Instagram For Good?
It has become loud and clear that Instagram is toxic for mental health on many levels. Some suggestion has been done to better the situation. Some researchers recommended Instagram to let followers know if a user manipulates a photo digitally by adding a tiny watermark in a corner of a photo. The other suggestion is to design a tracker when a user is on the platform for too long!
Instagram owners as well are aware of the situation and have been focusing on it to elevate the gravity of it. They had launched a campaign to talk about mental health.
We don’t know how things will proceed but I assume the solution is to be mindful and know what you are dealing with. Because although it has some negative impacts on your life, the same attendees claim that Instagram increased awareness, connected them to the community, and improved the self-identity. However, your mental health is everything! If you think leaving it is for the best, do not hesitate.