You open Instagram and are greeted by selfies of happy people showing you their new partner, their view from their hotel or a selfie showing how fit they are. Are these pictures just good fun or could they affect you?
In a study published in the Icwsm 2017 papers, a group of scientists studied how selfies appear on Instagram. They concluded that the selfies published were used to identify signals such as health, wealth and physical attractiveness. Watching these selfies can affect you, here are some ways Instagram can affect you:
When you compare yourself to other people idealized pictures, it can cause you starting to doubt and feel like you are not as good, fit or successful as the people on the pictures. To avoid this, it’s best to spend less time looking at other peoples profile and spend more time focusing on yourself to improve self-esteem.
FOMO or fear of missing out is something many Instagram users feel. When you see an event that you weren’t attending you might feel that you were missing out and get bummed out.
Negative body image
The most followed people on Instagram are almost all fit people wearing expensive clothes. It’s easy to start comparing yourself and start to get a negative body image.
Shorter Attention Span
Social media is all about instant gratification. Some studies link decreased attention span with increased social media usage.
It’s easy to get addicted to social media. You might not notice it initially, but if you think about you might spend much more time on Instagram than you might be thinking you are. Be aware of how much time you spend on Instagram and how it affects you and your surroundings. If it affects you or your friends and loved ones it might be time to decrease your Instagram usage.