All of us love Instagram. It helps us turn our photos into art, see the world, follow influencers, be cool and get tons of followers ourselves. It makes us feel like a celebrity and an artist. We can freely and openly express ourselves on the platform we lovingly call “Insta”. It is our portal to the world that we access every single day.
But Instagram ruins lives as well. It is a portal to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Behind those glossy, filter-heavy photos that we scroll through for hours, lies a fake reality that grossly affects our mental health. Not only it make us falsely believe that EVERYONE is PERFECT, except us, it also makes us addicted to the social media platform and ruins our lives. It’s no surprise that Insta is now considered as the worst social media for our mental health.
Yes, Instagram Is OFFICIALLY The WORST social Media App
According to a new report titled the ‘#StatusOfMind’, published by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement (YHM), Instagram is “the worst social media network for mental health.” Although it is related to positive self-identity and self-expression, Insta is strongly linked to high levels of loneliness, depression, anxiety, FOMO (fear of missing out), body image issues, sleep deprivation and bullying. In short, Instagram ruins lives. The report which surveyed around 1,500 individuals between 14-24 years of ages, found that our beloved Insta has the “most negative” effects on users’ mental well-being, while YouTube had the “most positive” impact on the users.
The globally-used photo-sharing app encourages self-comparison which leads to seriously low self-esteem, poor confidence, and unhappiness. However, with Insta, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter also have a strong negative impact on their users’ mental health. By sharing our personal photos on social media, we make ourselves vulnerable to the opinions of others which leads to unrealistic expectations, crushing disappointments and feelings of being inadequate. Perhaps this is why Instagram has the worst scores for anxiety and body image as our personal photos are put under the spotlight on this app. This is how Instagram ruins lives.
Instagram Affects Young Girls The Worst
The app makes women and girls believe that they are not physically attractive enough or their body is not good enough. They judge themselves based on the “perfect” photos of so-called “influencers” whose photos are heavily edited and polished with stacks of filters. According to a 2019 study, “girls and younger adolescents” are more likely to experience psychological problems, like anxiety and depression, due to usage of social media apps like Insta. “Depression was the most commonly measured outcome,” adds the study.
A recent report from Common Sense Media found that teens spend around nine hours on social media every single day and this does not include media usage for homework. The amount of time these young boys and girls spend on apps like Snapchat and Instagram is mindboggling, considering the impact these portals have on them. Granted social media is not purely evil and it can help improve our social connections, being online all the time is sure to have a serious toll on young girls’ mental health. In fact, the more these young people consume social media content, the more prone they become to mental health problems. There is no doubt that Instagram ruins lives.
Instagram Ruins Lives In More Ways Than You Think
One recent 2021 study analyzed active Instagram users and how their sense of self-worth and social anxiety was associated with use of the app. The study found that their levels of social anxiety are actually related “to self-worth tied to specific aspects of their Instagram use,” and this even determines how they engage with the platform. The study also found “negative associations” between Insta use & mental health outcomes, “such that increased social media use was correlated more strongly with depressive symptoms and poor self-esteem, particularly among adolescent girls and young women.”