The Era of Instagram – Effects of social media on mental health
Checking Instagram is the first thing most teenagers do after waking up in the morning.
It is the first step of the morning routine.
From that moment you start comparing yourself with the people whose stories or posts you see.
- You open the app and see everyone having a good time with friends and families.
- There’s the friend with a perfect body posting a photo after her workout.
- There’s another friend who has just married and he failed to invite you to his wedding.
- There are your friends who met on the weekend and they never asked you.
- There’s your friend posting a photo from somewhere in Paris enjoying her holidays.
- There’s your friend who threw a party after his big promotion.
And there you are doing nothing and lying in bed using Instagram. These are the thoughts that pop in your mind. Instead of starting your day with positive thoughts and a clear mind, you start your day with negativity, envy and by lowering yourself down. Social media is supposed to make life easier, to connect with people, to share your thoughts, to share your creativity. But it has become one of the devastating tools for your mind, body and soul.
Instagram has about 700 million users around the world. According to a survey conducted by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), in the last 25 years, there’s 70 percent increase of depression and anxiety linked with social media.
People drop mean comments on the body size, skin color, gender, etc., which leads to depression. Many celebrities have gone through depression because of social media. Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner is one of them. She had been in depression due to the comments that people wrote regarding her character in the series. It is severely affecting the mental health of people around the globe.
Most of the people have fear of missing out (FOMO). Stina Sanders, a former model who has 77k followers on Instagram says that sometimes she feels left out. They see people hanging out, posting photos in different outfits, going clubbing every Friday, going on vacations, etc., and they feel left out.
Body-image issues are one of the worst effects that Instagram has brought in the life of people.
As one survey respondent wrote, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’.” There are so many tools that can be used to make you look taller, skin brighter and smoother, body slimmer, eyelashes longer, etc. Makeup can also be added through some tools.
People use these tools and make their photos perfect. Most of the women watch such filter-perfect pictures and compare themselves.
Also, social media is so addictive that you scroll the news feed without even realizing that you are doing it. You spend the whole night using it. You wake up in the middle of the night and check DM’s and then spend hours scrolling the news feed. It makes your mind alert and it would be difficult for you to fall asleep afterwards. It’s hampering your sleep.
So instead of using Instagram with a negative mindset, use it positively. Most importantly use it for the very reasons it was created: show your creativity, be in touch with your friends, connect with new people, and share your messages to the world.
– Samikchya Pokharel