Is Instagram Ruining Our Self Esteem?

October 22, 2017

With over 600 million Instagram users and 95 million photos and videos being shared every day, Instagram is pretty hard to ignore.

I've had Instagram for around three years. I remember one of my first Instagram posts was a Clown Fish at Torquay Aquarium.

However, the Instagram set up is rather different nowadays. Rather than sharing a random photo, many users aim to share a selection of their best pictures displaying their feed to be a showcase of their 'happy' life.

The reason why I use happy in inverted commas is that this is as far from the truth as possible. Instagram has been declared as the worst social media for mental health and I can't say that I am surprised.

Part of this is to do with Instagram scoring negatively for self-identity and self-expression. Cosmopolitan wrote an article earlier this year speaking of how Instagram ruins self-esteem as influencers curate the "perfect virtual self".

However, for myself and others according to a number of surveys, Instagram has created a new self-confidence killer, the 'fear of missing out' otherwise more commonly known as FOMO.

The #StatusOfMind report explained: “Seeing friends constantly on holiday or enjoying nights out can make young people feel like they are missing out while others enjoy life."

And that is exactly how I felt. 

Whilst, I had an amazing summer, travelling to many countries and unconsciously uploading photos day by day to social media, when the season ended and reality kicked in, that's when I noticed FOMO starting. 

Whether it be my friends posting pictures of their wild university nights or a blogger sharing images of the press event they attended, I was there scrolling on my phone working two jobs and studying; feeling like I was missing out. 

It's an odd feeling because I am extremely happy with my decisions, I like my jobs and my course, but suddenly I became insecure. 

This has led me to where I am today. I have removed Instagram from my main dock and put it in a folder on my phone that I rarely use, this means that when I have a free minute I am not clicking on Instagram and complacently scrolling through. 

What is your opinion on Instagram?  
Lottie
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