In this modern age that we’re living in, we can’t ignore our intertwinement with technology. Next to becoming a part of everyday life, changing it for the better it also has some negative effects. To be precise, on our mental health. With the rise of social platforms at the beginning of 2000, we’ve become inseparable from our virtual selves, alter egos or slightly different versions of ourselves-that is our social network account. Instagram, Facebook as well as many other social platforms serve as our proving ground for presenting popular ideas, brands, and trends. Although there is nothing wrong with making a business online by selling or advertising brand in order to create profit, experts say that personal agenda is being dictated to a very alarming extent. This statement creates the need to ask a question, are Instagram and other social platforms good for your brain and mental hygiene?
The increase of Anxiety in Young Adults
Although Instagram offers means to self-express, state a personal agenda on a popular topic, experts in the fields of sociology and psychology warn that this type of freedom might have a couple of backfiring effects. Yes, we all have the need to express our thoughts and emotions but doing so on a social platform isn’t as natural as it would be in a normal debate or discussion. Gaining a huge number of followers on Instagram can make an individual feel admired and accepted by the community. On the other hand, it can also affect their ego and inflate their personal beliefs without confirming that they are just or morally right. This might be the main factor for creating anxiety in those young adult that reach “fame” and “glory” on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and those of the sort.
Before we can accept someone as successful on Instagram judging by the numbers of their followers, interaction rate of their admirers and other data, we must first take the matter seriously and evaluate their statements. Just because someone with a huge following state that this type of behavior is totally acceptable doesn’t make it so. Ask yourself, is that how I would behave in public, and, how would I feel if I stood firmly with those statements. These, as well as many other, are the question that we must ask no one but ourselves before accepting someone else’s beliefs, personal agendas and statements online.
Missing the Fun
Instagram is a great platform to share your photos of an amazing holiday and generally share your own memories in a digital photo format. Nonetheless, this exact behavior has shown to increase levels of depression in teens and young adults. Why?
Because we all like to see great, perfectly edited photos of someone having a “good fun” we create a feeling that we’re missing the fun. Seeing someone enjoying their holiday or a night out is one thing, but seeing a photo in which the individual is overreacting just to be accepted by the community is entirely a different thing. Unfortunately, for some, it is difficult to differentiate one from another.
Seeing someone having “fun” on Instagram isn’t the same thing as actually witnessing the emotion that that radiates from the person doing that which makes them truly happy. And because we can’t fully interact with those people, and attend those events we get the feeling that they are truly happy, thus creating a false image of happiness. This is exactly what makes those individuals that follow those people with crooked image of fun feel miserable and ultimately depressed. Again the question why?
Because when they try to do the same thing, they can’t help but feel that it doesn’t do any good for them and that it doesn’t provide the same sensation as presented on the photo of their “idols” on Instagram.
What’s the Right Course of Action?
Although we, or at least most of Instagram users, enjoy spending time on this amazing photo-sharing social platform we should at least know how to use it properly. Regarding the matter of negative effects of popular and trendy posts on our mental hygiene, we simply need to find a way to perceive it in a way that they have a positive effect on our brain. One way to put it is to see the good side of every post.
On a personal level, seeing someone having a great time on Instagram should mean that they need to feel accepted by the community and nothing else. It shouldn’t correlate with the actions that make you, as an individual, feel happy and joyful. Instead it should only prove as a mean to push yourself to do something that makes you feel filled with joy and positive thoughts.
This is the only way of taking Instagram seriously as a mean to uplift your own spirit. Again, without this thought in mind when scrolling through your news feed, you will feel bad as you’d think that you’re missing all the fun in the world. Marketing is a serious business, and although Instagram was created to share memories and photos, it allows people to advertise their own way of life and thoughts on matters that should be taken subjectively. Don’t be the person that will take someone else’s way of life for granted. They all want to be accepted by others and sometimes will present their way of “having fun” as ideal for themselves as well as others.
Instagram is a great way to share your thoughts, photos and short videos. Depending on your idea of “fun” your photos and posts will have more or less interaction and success at attracting followers. But this doesn’t mean that you should do everything, including creating a false image of yourself, to present those ideas just to have fun or attract followers. Be true to yourself and try not to lead others to creating false ideas about certain topics. Follow trends that you like not that other find popular and you should have a clear conscience when posting Instagram photos and videos.