The Instagram Dark Side: How the App is Affecting Users negatively
New York City: There are many dark sides to social the media, and Instagram is no exception. Though the platform may be one of the most harmless, there are still some negative effects it can have on your mental health, especially if you are using it in the wrong way or posting at the wrong time.
Follow this guide to learn about the darker side of Instagram and how to avoid it in order to live a happier life through social media.
1- The effects of social media on self-esteem
It’s not a secret that social media affects our self-esteem, but just how much? A recent study found that for every 10% increase in Instagram use, there was an associated decrease of .8% in participants’ self-esteem. This isn’t all too surprising given how many people post pictures of themselves on Instagram and Facebook. The Instagram dark side would be the number of users who might go home and feel bad about their appearance because someone commented about their weight or appearance. The Instagram dark side can also refer to teenagers posting pictures that may lead to bullying from other users with ugly comments.
2- Social media anxiety
New research has found that Instagram can be a breeding ground for social media anxiety. The study, which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that users of Instagram experience a greater sense of FOMO – or fear of missing out – than Facebook or Twitter users. This highlight reel effect can lead to dissatisfaction with one’s own life and an unhealthy need to compare oneself to others. It also has a negative impact on self-esteem, as many studies have shown. In fact, Instagram use has been linked to increased levels of depression, low self-worth, feelings of loneliness and even suicidal thoughts.
3- Compliments get you nowhere in real life
What are people getting out of Instagram and Facebook? I think there’s a lot of people who say that they’re not getting anything out of these apps. I mean, it’s nice to see a compliment now and again but when you get nothing but compliments on your picture or status or whatever, it feels like you’re being disconnected from reality. It can be really hard to know what’s going on in other people’s lives when we don’t know what their day-to-day life is like. The Instagram dark side means we have this skewed view of how perfect people’s lives are and how happy everyone is. When someone has had a bad day at work, or was fighting with their significant other all night long, they don’t post about it because no one wants to read about that stuff. Instagram becomes this fake window into someone else’s life where everything seems okay when really it isn’t at all.
4- You become a people pleaser on social media
You’ve been scrolling on your phone for hours now. You know you should be doing something productive, but you’re just so curious about what’s going on in everyone else’s life. You feel like you’re always missing out and can’t keep up with everything that is happening. It doesn’t matter how many people unfollow or block you because there will always be someone new to follow who has more followers than you and posts better content than you do. The problem is, these social media apps have a dark side. They are making you feel insecure and guilty all the time, not only by posting all this content that shows off others lives, but by encouraging competition between friends (posting which activities they did together). You might think I don’t care or it’s my choice, but it starts feeling like a cycle of stress and anger after awhile.
5- When people compare themselves to their friends on social media, they can create unrealistic standards for themselves
With more than 400 million active users, Facebook and Instagram combined are easily the most popular social media app in the world. There are many pros to these apps, but there are also some very serious cons that need to be addressed. One of these consequences of social media usage is a phenomenon called Social Comparison Theory. When people compare themselves to their friends on social media, they can create unrealistic standards for themselves. This type of comparison can lead to envy, anxiety and depression. A study has shown that after using social media sites for 10 minutes, participants reported an increase in body shame and decreased self-esteem. In another study with college students, those who used Facebook for at least an hour per day had lower levels of life satisfaction than those who did not use it at all or only infrequently. Moreover, one study found that frequent status updates on Facebook were related to less satisfaction with life as well as higher rates of drug abuse and alcohol consumption among college students.
6- People take things too far
People have been known to take things too far on social media and do some pretty dangerous and scary things. One of the most population examples of this is with what’s called #KylieJennerChallenge, in which people purposely burn themselves with boiling water in order to get a large-sized disfigured scar so they can look like celebrity Kylie Jenner. A more recent example are people who follow trends where teens or adults would hold their breath for as long as possible and then post videos of them passing out or having seizures after taking selfies. These are just two instances where people feel that it is acceptable to put their lives at risk just for the sake of being famous or posting a picture online. The amount of followers one has is not worth risking one’s life over, yet many continue to do these harmful activities anyway. It’s important for everyone to remember that social media is not worth anything if someone isn’t alive anymore.
6- Drama happens more often than you think
You might think that the popularity of social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram are harmless, but these sites have become a breeding ground for arguments and abuse. For example, in 2015, over 12 million posts and videos were reported to contain abusive content on Facebook alone. This can lead to serious issues, such as depression or even suicide. If you’re feeling overoverwhelmedwhelmed by social media negativity, remember these tips to help you stay safe and healthy on social media. First off, make sure you don’t post too much personal information-including your location or personal phone number-and delete old posts with sensitive information before they go viral. Second, be mindful of what you’re reading online-use tools like Google’s news app and avoid clicking links to articles with sensationalized headlines. Finally, unfollow people who constantly bully others online; this will help decrease their negative influence on your life while still allowing them the opportunity to grow into better people.
7- Boredom may result from overuse of your phone
When you are not doing anything, your brain will start to feed off of boredom. You’ll be looking at your phone and mindlessly scrolling, stopping to look at a picture that catches your eye. The problem with this is, you may scroll through ten pictures and have no idea what you just looked at. This can lead to problems such as addiction and depression because you are giving your brain nothing but idle time. We do not need social media for validation or for self-expression; we need it to connect with people. Although it does help us keep in contact with family, friends and acquaintances from different places, it is also important to maintain meaningful relationships face-to-face as well.