Instagram is bad, and you probably already think about that. To be honest, I, too, believe that. Yet, I am still using it daily. I am aware of the side effects of Instagram. So I decided to blog about Why Instagram is Bad for You, Me, and Us. So we have written reminders and understanding about the side effects of Instagram.
I realize why Instagram is bad after seeing everyone and myself. I look at my Instagram profile and laugh. “This isn’t me,” I said. And I do wonder, how about everyone else? How about my favourite influencer? Do they feel what I feel?. Are their life is real? Are we merely souvenirs of ourselves?
Instagram is Bad said RSPH
Instagram is the worst social media for mental health and wellbeing. Based on a survey held by RSPH of 1500 teens and young adults. Taken from the five most popular platforms, Instagram scored lowest. Associated with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), bullying, anxiety, depression, self-identity, and a whole lot more.
The survey measures the impact based on 14 points. These points related to mental health and these are.
Awareness and understanding other people health experiences
Access to expert health information
Sleep quality and amount
and, FoMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Social Media of Perfection, Instagram.
Beautiful minimalist house with no single imperfection seen. Aesthetics workspace without a single cable. The adventurer wrapped in a warm blanket, tea in hand, contemplative on the mountain. These are some imaginary lives we see depicted every day on Instagram. Of course, most of us know that these images aren’t a reflection of reality. But why do we keep liking, looking, and sharing them?. Do we silently endorse these are the pictures of perfection?
Instagram, an image-driven social media, thrive on pleasing aesthetic perfection. These social media rely on metrics to show a user their success (recently, Instagram considering hiding their likes number in a post.). A perception of achievement was created from the number of your followers, likes, and comments.
“Metrics are very important because for us to compete, we need to know where we stand, and to know where we stand, we need to know our attributes, That tends to breed a lot of social anxiety, upward social comparison, and we, as a consequence, worry about how we look to other people.”
Instagram, based on these metrics, indirectly encourages us to post photos that potentially gather a lot of likes and comments. Those perfect photos are then rewarded by the Instagram algorithm, which prioritizes the most popular content as ‘relevant’ and distributes it to the mass. As a result, we see the perfect photos in our feed.
This created a problem. These photos aren’t representing life as it is, but experience as we imagine how it should be. There is no inherent problem with those perfect images or the lives they portray. It became a problem when we compared it with our own imperfect lives. Carefully curated fiction of messy realities, and it pales in comparison with our dull regular life.
Influencer is Bad for your Health too.
We’re obsessed with them because we want to be like them. We were obsessed with the people at the top, in a productive way. We could try what worked for them and do it too. Because we hope that one day we could become like them.
Nowadays, we just scroll through the photos of famous people. They’re rich and have personal trainers, nutritionists, expensive skincare routine products, and plastic surgery. And they do perfectly curated social media done by pros.
Through their Instagram feed, we feel like we know them. Deep in our hearts, if we pay attention for long enough, we can be like them. Even though our brains keep telling us the opposite, that doesn’t stop us and hoping there will be the day we found the secret.
While social media is merely a highlight reel. Whether it’s celebrities or your home town friends, people only post their best version of their life. You’ll never know an influencer telling you about a bird shits on their favourite dress. You’ll only see their gorgeous photos in an aesthetically charming cafe.
With easy and constant access into an inhuman lifestyle. Filtered to show the very best of someone’s perfect life. A path to destruction?
Even though we’re careful about what we put in our bodies, we also consume what we view. It can be as harmful as any unhealthy diet. And we are what we eat.
I am proud of myself as someone that is healthily using social media. Turned of notification unless it’s a Private Message. Monitoring my usage time with Screen Time on iOS. And I don’t even follow any influencer with out of reach habits (*cough* Darius Sinathyra).
Whenever I felt overwhelmed with the lives of unrealistic people began to affect my mental health, I just stopped using it.
Mental Health and Instagram isn’t a Good Friend.
We humans are visual creatures. Which is why we always addicted to Instagram. Celebrities and Influencer or even your friends present heavily curated feeds of their lives for us to see, and we swallow it and ask for more.
Instagram also has a profoundly adverse effect on our psychology and mental health. We took everything on it as absolute truth. We suffer for it because it is something that we can’t reach our dull life.
Our desire to follow Influencer comes from our sincere belief that we can become like them. We compare ourselves to others to define our social status. When we see these famous people, we can’t resist to try and emulate their traits in an attempt that it will make us outstanding.
Of course, we know that Influencer lives on artificial life, with unlimited money than we have for vacation, surgery, and skincare routine. But that doesn’t stop you from blaming yourself because you don’t have those characteristics. You didn’t try hard enough. You haven’t eaten well enough. You didn’t work out enough.
Even if you follow them because of their cute children, or their expensive dog. You’ll still be exposed to their perfect hair (expensive hair treatment), flawless smile (a dentist that accepts payment in car form), or their shining faces (with millions of Rupiah each treatment).
Instagram perfected their job, making the artificial lifestyles always shown on our explore. And stupidly, we kept thinking that if we tried a little harder, we could be like them. It has consequences on our mental health. That’s why I unfollow all those Influencer. Because it’s their job to look successful and happy.
I don’t have those resources, nor that lifestyle nor robust mental health.
How About You?
Do you think Instagram really has a big impact on your mental health? Or do you feel the opposite? Let’s discuss it through the comment!