Psychology of Instagram: Impact of Instagram on Mind Health
Instagram is one of the best yet most destructive social media platforms of current times. it is proven by a number of experiments and surveys that it is pretty addictive. Here, in this article, we will work on the following queries to know more about Instagram’s impact on mental health.
Section 1: Addiction and Instagram
What really makes one addicted to Instagram?
Reasons mentioned by Nir Eyal, one of the Stanford University lecturers expresses her views on the negative impact Instagram has put on people. According to her, the following are the biggest reasons for being addicted to Instagram.
Reward – Right There and Then
First and foremost, the concept of instant gratification and glories in the shape of appreciation is something that makes people post regularly. They know that when anything and everything is appreciated, people tend to post anything and everything. When they share pictures and content on a regular basis, they become habitual which leads to addiction.
Pictures, Pictures, and Pictures – Everywhere and All the Time
Capturing selfies and pictures are trending for many years. People, in general, think they will lose the moment they live forever if it is not captured. Once captured, they want to share, and that again becomes addictive. So, the entire philosophy of taking pictures is not new; but has taken a toll in recent years.
Investments and the Response Rate
We all put in extra effort, time, and energy to look good. After taking pictures, we tend to put it on filters to beautify ourselves. That increases likes, followers, and engagement in IG profile. So, all the time that you invest in the picture could be a source of addiction.
Source of Intimate Social Circle – Opsie!
Instagram is not only about posting your pictures and expecting likes. There is more to it! Once your picture is out, next is to get more engagement. Comments and likes lead to knowing the person who likes your photo. Discussions and connections take place and that is how networking starts. Naturally, there are more reasons for getting started with communication. Pictures are thus the main source.
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
FOMO is the fear of missing out trends, fashions, news, and other content that goes viral. This fear leads users to become addicted to Instagram. Addiction however is not limited to posting pictures and content, but also about the ways it may get the maximum number of likes, comments, and shares. Yes, everyone is hooked to the prospects of making most followers and following the latest brands that are doing well in the market.
Section 2: Positive and Negative Impact of Instagram
So, knowing that Instagram can be highly addictive, you must get aware of the effects of it on a human’s mind. For that, there are both the aspects, positive and negative, that we have to look into.
Positive Effects of Instagram
There are a number of reasons why people are addicted to Instagram. Despite the negated concept of addiction, there are some positive effects and impacts of it on people’s minds. Here, in this section, we have discussed some positive effects of using Instagram.
Sharpens Critical Analysis and Thinking
First thing first, when someone becomes close to Instagram, he or she starts thinking critically. Knows how to handle the audience, understands their preferences, and learns ways to project oneself beautifully. Topics are learned and understood on a different note. Since reading content in the shape of an article or blog is a bit taxing on nerves, it is always better to connect with people through social media because it is a little towards the entertainment side. Furthermore, it helps in gaining confidence.
Widens the Prospects of Communication
Instagram gives an edge to stay home moms by communicating with people of the same interests, stories around kids, and what not! Likewise, some people have different missions and are not able to find like minded people in their vicinity. For such people, Instagram helps them find the same type of people. The impact it has on these people is naturally positive. There isn’t anything negative about it and that’s the main reason why the audience gets attracted to such profiles. Another dimension to the same point is based on kids and others who lost their old colleagues or class/batch mates. Instagram allows people to reconnect with old ones.
Sense of Responsibility and Community
In scenarios when you can’t connect with the favorite lot (of people), Instagram helps us being in contact. This means the world when the schools are closed and nothing is the same. Yes, in pandemic like situation, you have no other option than to connect and act normal using Instagram. What does it mean? It means you can accept new normal and create your little community. For example, if you are a student, creating a community naming your school and batch number would allow people of the same batch to join and connect. However, parents must keep a check on kids as it is not always safe and can be full of risks. For instance, there could be a circulation of wrong information, bullying, and harassment. Nevertheless, kids should be aware of all sorts of negative effects while keeping themselves fully accustomed to the positivity around Instagram.
Learning Job Requirements Becomes Easier
Even though people portray social media, especially Instagram as a villain, there are tons of positive effects. People learn to take criticism, talk in a way where they can sell themselves (services or products) effectively. Without starting a fight, being bullied, or harassed, one can have a productive talk. That’s where they learn how to learn about jobs, the buyer’s psyche, and other traits. Being around social media where work is done, learning how to be responsible, and keeping workers away from personal life are some additional advantages of Instagram.
Enhances and Exhibits Creativity
Creatively taking part on Instagram, sharing schedule, and regimes to other activities, visits, celebrations, and events, almost everything is shared on social media. What type of impact is drawn out of it? It is a positive one because creativity releases good hormones that make us happy. Creative people are mostly happy to go lucky ones and they manifest their lives around innovating new ideas. Once someone gets hooks to posting content on Instagram, it improves creative juices.
Expressions and Voices are Heard
Young adults are mostly into finding their space, cultivating it, then adjusting in the spaces made in the environment they live in. Instagram allows adults to express themselves. Followers and likes on the content they publish on Instagram are appreciated and owned with conviction. It reinforces the feel of belongingness which can be very positive and empowering.
Negative Impact of Instagram on Teens, Adults, and Others
Instagram doesn’t have an only positive impact on people’s minds. There is a negative impact too. However, we can’t say that it has more of the positive side or there is a higher percentage of negative impact. The reason behind it is simple. To many of us, Instagram is just about expanding business, bringing awareness of the company or brand, or in other words, it is all about creating better avenues of getting leads. Whereas, other users are about something else. So, saying that the businessmen are getting a negative impact and others are getting more advantages is flawed. In the end, it is all about the type of activities you perform on Instagram.
We all know the importance of sleep and food intake, right? Even then, teens use Instagram for more than 3 hours on a regular basis. So, the question is, what makes us away from sleep? See, when we keep on checking likes and followers on our posts, the mind doesn’t relax and stays on high alert mode. Also, the light that emits from our smartphones or laptops suppresses melatonin production. The lack of melatonin, therefore, becomes a hurdle and we don’t get relaxed or tired. What is the solution though? One of the best ways outs is to turn off the phone and other gadgets at least 40-50 minutes before hitting the bed.
Deteriorated Attention Span
Activities that you do in a normal day require proper attention. But the question is are you able to focus and concentrate on all that you do while staying awake? If not, there is an implication of Instagram’s negative side. Yes, you are subconsciously active and that means your brain is working all the time. Since Instagram provides constant and readily available content, there is a very less chance of focusing on what you want to do online. That distracts easily and you are unable to focus on one thing for too long.
If and when you use Instagram without any caution, there are chances of falling depressed. That is led through the continuous display of what others have, how many products are there, and not being able to buy all of it. Basically, Instagram has proved to be the source of unhappiness and it has all the potential of making people sad, depressed, and anxious.
Conclusion – What Implications and Impact Instagram has on People in General?
In general, it has both kinds of impacts. However, mental health is a topic where it has played a negative role. It doesn’t mean, it is totally a bad place to be. But it also doesn’t imply that one can always stay happy with its excessive use.