Instagram Might Affect Your Emotional Well-Being: Correct Ways of Using Social Media

Today, over a billion people browse through Instagram. On average, they spend about 30 minutes on this social media platform. For some, the use goes beyond a few hours. That can cause mental health issues and disturb their overall emotional well-being.

The Wall Street Journal published internal studies by Facebook pointing out how the app can harm teens. It aggravates their body and self-image issues, especially for teenage girls. Jasmine Fardouly, a psychology researcher at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, states that it’s concerning how the likes and comments from unknown and known people might affect a person. Since every person has an individual experience on Instagram, it is not fair to generalize a certain kind of user experience.

Instagram Might Affect Your Emotional Well-Being

Even then, there are various areas of concern. According to studies, Instagram is linked to social anxiety, depression, and other issues. By its very design, the app focuses on the user’s biological drive for social belonging, which urges them to keep scrolling and viewing content that might not be relevant to them.

This article will focus on how Instagram harms your emotional well-being and the right ways to use it, so that you aren’t affected.

Effects of Instagram on Your Emotional Health

In December 2023, WION reported that Attorney General Raul Torrez from New Mexico brought a lawsuit against Meta. The complaint stated that Instagram and Facebook are promoting explicit content to children even when there is zero interest. 

It enables the predators to identify and connect with minors online.

Torrez claimed that rather than creating a secure space for kids, Instagram is allowing predators to make wrong use of minors by soliciting them for adulterous activities. A profile with a picture of a fictional 13-year-old girl from Albuquerque received several adult followers within a very short time. The profile messenger received videos and images from predators almost four times a week.

If you too have faced something similar, then it’s time to file your Instagram lawsuit and alert people about it. Other than getting covered for the embarrassment and suffering you had to endure, your complaint will make other users aware of the negatives of Instagram and use it wisely.

However, this is just one way Instagram can ruin your mental peace. It can affect your emotional state of being and sense of inner calm in the following ways:

Attractive and Unreal Content

Women mostly fall prey to it. Instagram is replete with beauty bloggers who set unrealistic notions about beauty. The glass-skin finish is getting prominent now and almost all women want to have it. They follow different beauty hacks and when they don’t achieve the desired outcome; they are sad and depressed. It is necessary to understand that each one of us has different skin textures. That aside, ethnicity, age, and health conditions have their role to play in how our skin looks.

Additionally, some influencers create food videos of eating calorie-induced platters and not getting fat. It sends the wrong message to women that they can eat what they want and stay fit. When that doesn’t happen, they feel guilty about the lifestyle choices they made influenced by the content.

Comparison Mode

There’s a reason Instagram decided to provide users the option to hide their ‘likes’ on their posts. Instead of displaying the number of likes, the post will show one user id and others who have liked the post. It’s because when random users find that their peers have above 100 or 1000 likes in a post and they aren’t even close to it, they compare their lives with others.

Not getting more likes on a post translates to not being accepted by many. It makes a person doubt themselves and makes them feel they need to do something extra to be noticed and appreciated. As a result, they fall into a vicious loop of leading their lives to receive external validation which affects their mental health.

Use Social Media Wisely

TruLaw states several empirical studies have highlighted that Instagram has a detrimental effect on one’s emotional well-being by promoting unreal body images among teens and adults. Often, these images and notions lead to eating disorders, mostly in students. Therefore, users must exercise logic and reason to use the medium smartly so that they don’t fall prey to its persuasive content marketing.

Ideally, it all starts with a realization. The youth and adults must realize just like television, even Instagram is a medium of entertainment. That means not everything shown here is real and needs to be seriously absorbed. More often than not, content creators develop unreal but captivating content to get maximum views, likes, and comments so that they can monetize their profiles.

People should know that what they dwell upon grows in their minds. Hence, when you give more time to social media, the impacts of unreal and harmful content will grow on you. It is necessary to limit social media browsing time. Ideally, it should be used to share your body of work, check interesting and useful updates, and network with people who can help you grow in life.

That way, you will know the purpose of your social media interactions and it will help to reduce the excess time you spend on it.

In conclusion, social media over the past few years has given rise to mental health issues in teens and adults. It has led to social isolation, general anxiety, stress, a sense of competition even from people you don’t know, and depression. It is necessary to identify how your screen time is affecting you, so that you can decide to solve the issue.


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