Instagram is more than just a photo-sharing platform. It is a whole world of perfect shots, edited snapshots, and continuous streams of life that can have a significant impact on the mental health of adolescents.
The culture of perfection
Instagram has become the epicenter of a culture of perfection, where every shot, every story, and every post often represents life at its best. Filters, retouching, and image manipulation create the illusion of a “perfect” reality. This creates standards that teens begin to compare themselves to.
Comparison effect and negative impact
When teens continuously see idealized images on their feed, they often begin to compare their lives and their appearance to what they see on Instagram. This can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with themselves, anxiety, and a negative perception of their lives.
In addition, the hunt for likes and followers can lead to an addiction to approval from others. Teens begin to judge their worth through the number of likes and comments, which can lead to low self-esteem if they don’t get enough recognition on social media.
Acceptance of reality
Despite all the idealized images, it’s important to remember that much of what we see on Instagram is a selective representation of reality. Real life often doesn’t conform to the ideals presented on social media.
Paths to healthy use
Instagram and other social media platforms can be inspiring and creative, but it’s important to recognize their impact on our well-being. Parents, educators, and teens themselves can regulate their social media use, set time limits, actively filter content, and support open discussions about how social platforms affect their lives.
Instagram offers a lot, but it’s important to remember that real value is not measured in the number of likes or photos, but in the quality of the lives we lead outside of social media screens.
This article discusses Instagram’s impact on self-esteem, highlighting its positive and negative aspects, and suggests ways to use this social network in a healthy way.