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Mental Health Implications of Instagram
Using social media channels too much can be detrimental to your health. Now the question is which particular site causes the most damage to your mental health. Well, that entirely depends on how you use it.
A report of Status of Mind has compared the three major social media channels, namely, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and come up with different facts regarding the effects of social media on the minds of young people within the age group of 14 to 24.
Their report showed that each of these platforms caused:
- Different mental health issues
- Causes anxiety
- Sleep deprivation
- Self-esteem and
Out of all three channels, Instagram is found to be the most potent one to cause the most negative effect overall on the mental health of the users. Apart from the above effects, Instagram also is known to cause bullying, loneliness, and FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out effect.
However, everything is not bad for Instagram. It also causes a few positive effects such as self-expression and identity, provides emotional support and helps in community building.
Dealing with the problem
Since social media, especially Instagram, is not going anywhere, you will need to know the ways to deal with these issues rather than discard it entirely. Instead, if you use it responsibly, you will be able to foster the innovations that it holds, especially if you want to use it for your business promotion.
There are lots of social organisations and wellbeing services that have already started calling out for changes to be made by the social media companies. One such change that they wish to be implemented by the companies is a warning sign indicating “heavy usage” within the app or on their website.
They suggest that:
This will allow the users to know the limits which they should not cross. It will also enable them to know about the risks involved in using this platform ‘heavily.’
It will, in addition to that, let them know the responsibilities that they undertake when they download the app.
The government, on the other hand, are also putting in their efforts by introducing safe use of social media in elementary as well as high schools to make the young generation aware of the consequences.
Professionals say that encouraging young people to limit their daily usage of social platforms will reduce the risk of mental health issues. They suggest that you people should not use it, especially before sleep time or after waking up.
Knowing the effects
If you see the impact that too much of Instagram usage may have on your mind them, you can deal with the issue yourself. If you find that your Instagram account is not followed as you expect or your photo is not shared even by your friends and family, it will cause insecurity in you. This will, in turn, lower your self-esteem.
It is for this reason Instagram has come up with a new feature to hide the likes count.
When you are too much involved with your mobile phone (Instagram being a mobile app), it will affect human connection as well. It may lower your ability to communicate to build personal relationships. You will be more interested in the digital facades of your friend and you instead of the real-life personas.
It will also affect your memory and the span of your attention. It will not only affect your subconscious brain but also when you are awake.
Instagram tops the list
Though most marketers and sites like blastup.com focus on using Instagram for their business promotion purpose, the fact that this platform also comes with a lot of risks cannot be ignored.
According to a survey, it is found that:
Instagram is considered to be the worst social media channel that can affect mental health.
Facebook came next to Instagram, followed by Twitter and Snapchat. YouTube, on the other hand, is considered to be the best one as it impacts less on the health and wellbeing users.
The unique thing about YouTube is that it was also considered to be the best social channel to bring awareness among the people related to health experiences. It provided much more reliable health information that could help the users to decrease the levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
The tests carried out
Governments of different countries, as well as Facebook itself, are carrying out various tests on how the Instagram app is affecting the minds of the young social followers. This is done to find a remedy to such a problem.
According to these tests, it was found that:
Only a limited number of posts on Instagram usually drive ‘likes’ which causes concerns in the users, especially the young ones and it also increases the feeling of permanent competition among young users, thereby increasing the social pressure on them.
All these are significantly detrimental to the mental health of young people.
One thing that is common in all these tests:
It is Instagram that emerged as the worst social media platform that causes the most negative effects on the psychological condition of the young users.
Irreplaceable or not
Damaging as it is, the question is whether such damage is replaceable or not. Undoubtedly, people have already started to believe that the impact of social media and Instagram has begun to show that it can change the entire society.
The primary reason for this is the attention-grabbing algorithms of Instagram that are underlying.
This drives authoritarian practices with a specific aim to cause:
- Ignorance and
The manipulation and accountability of all these results that are undermining the message.
This means that any specific piece of information can grab the attention of the users irrespective of the fact that it is not known whether it is true or false. It also means that the potential movements can be a welcome one or malevolent.
However, the good news is the social media domain is making changes to make the platform more democratic in an excellent way to deal with the privacy issues and prevent incivility.
About the author
Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.
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