Social Media is the term indicating and opening multiple different social networking sites that comes to our brain which in the modern era have become a source of living by providing a huge platform for entertainment. Everyone is moving towards digital technology for different purposes either to brand their product or themselves. It is used bt mostly teenagers whose foremost preference is to sit around in the house and enjoy logging in and out from different websites several times a day. Some of them are in desire of knowledge to challenge their intellectual capacity, others just want unlimited access to entertainment. Social media websites work by allowing their users to connect and communicate worldwide despite their geographical location. It also allows its user to earn social life. Much growing businesses are stepping into these websites where they can earn and get various chances to market their respective product and let others be a part of their business through youtube, facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.
With the great progress of digital media, social networking sites are becoming more and more common these days and one of them is Instagram. They define it as a stage of many connections through the public and private account by following others and letting them follow back as per your preference and posting different content your followers can access which. It allows its users to post pictures, share videos and motivational stories, chat and connect to many people around the world. People can apply different beautiful filters to their post to edit them and even generates highlights of their memories. Since it’s started in 2010, it has engrossed over 40 Million dynamic users, who post around 80 Million photos a day. (2015, Instagram)
The issue this article will highlight is about how and why people are indulging themselves in negative use of Instagram, that is affecting fundamental factors of their life such as mental health and physical health. This issue arising because Instagram is allowing its users to create fake identities of themselves despite portraying their real life, they are pretending to have a perfect lavish lifestyle. Instagram offers its users to broadcast their lives according to their perspective, allowing them to be selective while sharing posts related to their lives which are generating false personalities of individuals. People are in a race to establish themselves as the happiest and luckiest human beings alive. “Many studies have also shown that social media users cause the individual to create negative social comparisons with the people they follow or are friends with on social media websites, which lead negative effect on self-report.” (2018, Vegal, Rose, Okdie, Eckles, and Franz)
Instagram lead you to enjoy through multiple profiles where one can be your personal profile while in others you can publicly post any similar category of pictures, for instance, a person can showcase their photography skill, share their traveling photos or post makeup tutorials. It helps you to promote your passion and show your expertise where people can like and comment on them. Followers attitude can encourage and motivate you to work harder to achieve your ambitions. People share a healthy recipe or their workout routine, which also helps others to maintain their physical state and provide knowledge about maintaining oneself. For example, the profile of Huda Kattan, who has a fanbase of about 37Million on Instagram and she treated them as a family. She brands her makeup products which make others look fabulous on their different occasion and show them how to make up. She also posts makeup tutorials by her fans using her product.
While viewing multiple profiles of other doing different kind of jobs, it ultimately decreases one self-esteem that they have nothing to do. Seeing others traveling to different countries and looking yourself sitting on your old comforting couch and scrolling their superbly edited pictures boost up the anxiety rate. It makes one feel talentless and without any passion. People have started using likes and comments as the currency of living in the world of Instagram. Raising the number of followers on your profile will eventually increase competition and comparison. As per the example is given in the previous paragraph related to Huda Kattan, she is the cosmopolitan businesswoman dealing with insecurity since her childhood about her looks. She has also gone through the plastic surgery but instead of showing her real image she has launched various expensive products that only upper-class people can buy. She pretends to have a perfect lifestyle using her best products in the world on daily basis without showing the trouble she goes through and the insecurities that she cannot even step out of her house without applying makeup.
According to Jennifer Lawellen (2016), Instagram is based on image representations of individuals where everything is related to the image. Using Instagram and following different people, who post perfect pictures of their fake beauty effect locals self-conscious especially of women and this forced them to prefer cosmetic surgeries. These comparisons lead two paths either to self-enhancement or to self-evaluation. They conducted the research about three frames of caption one was body positive, the second was body negative and the third was no caption and they asked people about these inscriptions relating to their self-esteem, fantasy, social comparisons, ideas, etc. The results were surprising as people were not being influenced by captions but the images themselves. Viewing those perfect body shape pictures increases body shaming which makes them do exercises to be fit.some of them fantasized that they can also earn that perfect lifestyle and body.
Furthermore according to Nicole Annette Dion (2016), Instagrammers pretending to have an ideal lifestyle raise body dissatisfaction, eating disorders and envy in their followers who assume themselves worthless. The social comparison theory by Leon Festinger (1954) clearly state how people satisfaction decrease after using Instagram and they examine their body and faces to celebrities and other delightful faces they follow.It was proven by demonstration related to Instagram usage. People were allowed to fill a survey form with a questionnaire related to these problems then after six weeks, there were divided into two groups: 1) The control group who were using Instagram usually. 2) they asked The experimental group to follow 15 celebrities. After they concluded the six-week result that the control group was feeling more positive than the experimental group about themselves.