Instagram: Friend or Foe?

In the world that we live in today, social media is a commonly used tool for self expression, creativity, connection, and marketing. Mostly of us use some (if not many) form(s) of social media regularly throughout the day. It’s become a common trend to frequent these networking programs in countries all over the world, and it seems as if the diversification of these platforms is only expanding. Though while we have gained many useful resources and elements from these digital tools- some of them may be harming us more than helping us.

A large portion of our population uses Instagram on a daily basis. In Time Magazine’s article Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health, journalist Amanda Macmillan describes the results of a 2017 survey regarding the negative implications of excessive social media use- specifically Instagram.

“While the photo-based platform got points for self-expression and self-identity, it was also associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.””

It’s not an uncommon notion that social media has an effect on our mental health. Throughout the article Macmillan describes the impact that participants claimed the app had on their societal perceptions and self-image.

In certain contexts, social media is about representing a specific brand or identification. It’s easy to get caught in a habit of comparison when it comes to the considerably unrealistic expectations and standards that can be portrayed. When it comes to mental health, it’s important to take a sense of balance into consideration in all areas of our lives. We must begin to reflect this ideal towards our patterns of media consumption as well.

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