While Instagram and other social media platforms have a host of benefits to them, they also have a darker side. A number of people have decided to quit Instagram. With piling evidence that it can do a lot of harm to your mental health, you may need to take the same route. Doing this may prove beneficial to you. Read on to see four ways Instagram use affects people’s mental health.
1. It Can Make You Feel Inadequate
It’s no secret that when you’re taking pictures for the ‘gram, you have to put your best foot forward and make them worthy of the platform. This is because there’s a kind of beauty standard many people feel the pressure to maintain. With the sheer number of people on the planet, it’s clear that this is a tough competition to win. This has driven many people to get plastic surgery, an expense that may not be worthwhile. It’s also exposed many people to health risks as they try to seek out affordable surgery in a bid to improve their looks. In 2019, nearly 11.36 million plastic surgery procedures were carried out globally This is a large number, and one that will probably grow if social media will maintain the trajectory it’s currently on.
2. It’s Very Addictive
As anyone who’s ever tried to stay away from Instagram after being a heavy user will tell you, it’s not easy to do. Patterns of addictive behavior seen with dependence on substances are similar to those seen with social media dependence. It’s been found that social media activates the exact same areas of the brain as addictive substances, including cocaine. It could lead to social anxiety and a heavy need for social reassurance. This becomes a real risk to psychological and physical well-being, even interfering with a performance at school or at work. Clearly, it can end up affecting many areas of your life and it should thus be treated with the same care as addictive drugs.
3. It Can Make You Feel Lonely
While this takes an opposite position to the intended use and even the name itself, social media, it’s true that heavy users will experience severe loneliness. This is a danger because people are beginning to use social media to replace real-life friendships. With friends online, it’s a fact that you may have a large number of people you’re connected to, but have shallower connections that don’t really have value. The average adult in America spends 30.1 minutes each day on Instagram. When you consider the various other things that an adult may need to do on a daily basis, this is a significant length of time.
4. It May Make You Feel Insecure
Finally, spending time scrolling through one’s Instagram feed is going to make the best among us feel insecure. This is because you’ll come across a large number of well-curated pictures and images of people around the world. These images can make it hard to consider the fact that the people posting the images have bad days sometimes. It’s all too easy to be blinded to reality and end up feeling as though you’re inadequate. You may even end up neglecting self-care as you start to get disillusioned. You may miss dental checkups, which you should set an appointment for at least once every six months. Doing this should help prevent problems like cavities and more, so it’s important for everyone to do it. Spending too much time on social media may get you disillusioned and make it easy for you to ignore such facts.
These four effects of Instagram on your mental health should help you see the danger before it’s too late. Doing this could save you from a troubled future in which you have a hard time seeing your beauty and appreciating what you have.