Are we to blame Instagram for becoming self-obsessed about our appearance?

It’s not secret we stalk and look up to our favourite influencers and celebrities on the most used app today. Not only that, but Instagram also makes us feel like we have our own following that we need to appear to in a certain way.

While the social aspect of Instagram is mostly connected with receiving and giving likes and comments, today it seems that there has been an increased link to our self-confidence and mental health from the amount of attention we receive.

With just under 10 years of existing, Instagram already prides itself on having over four billion photos and 100 million active users per month.

The majority of users actively engage with their friends’ food choices, party nights and latest holiday snaps, but there’s an even bigger sinister side to the flaunting of self-portraits.

With influencers like Molly-May Hague, Kim Kardashian and Tommy Fury increasing their following and fame through constant streams of selfies and promotional posts, younger fans are becoming increasingly exposed to the social standard of “perfect Instagram photos”.

It’s very worrying that so many teenagers are being fed unrealistic expectations of what is today’s standard of “acceptable” beauty.

LendEDU, an online marketplace for a variety of financial product research conducted a survey on the vainest social media apps amongst young people.

The results were that Instagram received 64% votes, more than Facebook with 10%, Snapchat with 15% and Twitter with 11%.

RSPH and the Young Health Movement’s report #StatusOfMind explained that Instagram has been ranked worst for young people’s mental health.

It’s not only down to how your face apparently looks, as it seems that the more skimpy outfits girls on Instagram post pictures in, the more likes and comments they get. This is particularly worrying as young users make themselves particularly vulnerable to trolls, and the younger they are, the more potentially damaging insecurities may develop.

It would be hard to change the fast-developing social network era and emerging trends, but the best thing to do is to help teach younger generations that outside beauty is not as important as our own beauty that comes from within, and that being a beautiful person inside is much more important.

Words: Simona Dimitrova

Image: Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

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