How Instagram Messes Up With Your Mental Health

Social media brought out the narcissist in us. The word “selfie” was eventually recognized by most dictionaries because people loved taking their photos and posting it on social media. While initially, photos reminded us of important milestones in our lives, too much picture taking has bordered into the extreme. Many people post their every move on social media, which isn’t entirely necessary as not everyone is interested in every detail of their lives.

Another issue with social media is how you only show off the good side of your life. It gives others the impression that your life is perfect. It’s very apparent with the social network, Instagram. They even coined the term “Instagram-worthy or IG-worthy photos” when posting pictures on this channel because most posts describe perfection in a picture. Others get insecure that their lives aren’t as glamorous as their friends and start doubting their self-worth. That’s when Instagram became more of a curse rather than a blessing.

Instagram is the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health, followed closely by Snapchat, according to a new report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in the UK.

Their study, #StatusofMind, surveyed almost 1500 young people aged 14 to 24 on how certain social media platforms impact health and wellbeing issues such as anxiety, depression, self-identity and body image.

YouTube was found to have the most positive impact, while Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter all demonstrated negative affects overall on young people’s mental health.

Instagram — the image-saturated app with over 700 million users worldwide — topped the list in terms of negative impact, most notably among young women, stated the report, published Friday.

Instagram draws young women to “compare themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered and Photoshopped versions of reality,” Matt Keracher, author of the report, told CNN.


A person’s mental health is compromised by seeing almost perfect photos of families, friends, and even strangers filling up their phone’s screen. And because most people are none the wiser as to which photos were curated or not, they tend to accept it as real on face value that leads to an intense feeling of depression and insecurity. Aside from that, it is not healthy to be so obsessed with social media. It takes your time away from more important life realities and prevents you from establishing meaningful relationships with the people around you.

Instagram is one of the biggest social media network sites, with millions of people worldwide posting images on the platform every day.

However, while it’s incredibly popular, it has been rated the worst social media site for young people’s mental health, according to a recent survey.

According to the Royal Society for Public Health, a survey suggests it has the most negative impact on users.

The survey also found the app could put users at risk of suffering loneliness, depression and body image anxiety.


Perhaps another reason why Instagram shatters a person’s mental health and confidence is because it is heavily image-based unlike other SNS like Facebook where you can see a variety of content.

But with a new campaign aimed at addressing mental health issues, Instagram is trying to (gently) alter this equation. Dubbed #HereForYou, the initiative highlights users and communities on the social network who are raising “awareness about mental health and the importance of finding support,” founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog post. By clicking on selected hashtags (including #HereForYou, along with other, more specific hashtags), the goal is to make it easier for users grappling with mental health-related issues to find resources on the platform.

In a video announcing the project, three Instagramers share their own, varied struggles with mental health, and how the platform helped them cope. “Through Instagram, I was able to connect with other girls who were going through similar things,” says Elyse Fox, 27. “My main thing is to bring girls together and let girls know they aren’t alone.”


You can’t help but feel depressed when you see other people fare better in life than you. It’s quite understandable, really. But when it became the focal point of your day, that’s when your social media obsession becomes detrimental to your health. But despite knowing that photos posted on social media are heavily curated and their owners are only posting the best shot of the day, many still can’t help but feel bad for themselves after seeing these filtered pictures.

To improve Instagram’s image, they are now taking initiatives to address this connection between the use of their app to the prevalence of mental health issues by allowing users to anonymously flag posts that are suggesting of underlying mental issues and redirect the user to mental health organizations that can help them. While it isn’t the ultimate solution, it is one step closer to addressing the problem with too much social media use and its negative effects to one’s health.

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