Instagram: A Blessing or a Curse? You decide

3 mn read

You wake up, reach for your phone, and open Instagram. Insta-feed begins with delectable photos of cupcakes, clouds, and puppies, and find yourself mesmerized by these images, softening your eye wrinkles and feeling warm all over. That’s the power of Instagram—saying more than words ever could.

Typically, Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing app in the world. It may have taken off in 2010, but its roots are still grounded in its founders’ love for photography. And when you scroll through the app’s feed, it’s hard to deny that there is something sinister about it. The colors are washed out, and the images are so over-filtered they look unreal. But how much damage can scrolling through another influencer’s life cause to our mental health?

Instagram has done its own internal research. They know how harmful it is for young people. Yet, they actively promote Instagram to teens and pre-teens without disclosing the dangers or offering any way to protect them. 

This comes after Facebook’s Whistleblower Frances Haugen revelation on how the app could be harmful to its users.  

Instagram gives us an unlimited source of happiness, while it takes away precious time we need to spend on things that really matter to us. I have a friend who loves to take photos of her food but never makes it to the table long enough to eat her homemade hamburgers. Another friend is always taking selfies in the mirror without remembering how good she really looks for just being herself. We strive to get that perfect picture or video to be liked or followed by another person but forget that it’s just a part of life.

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Building Community

If you were in the most isolated village in the world, having Instagram would be a blessing. But the world is not like that. The world is connected. Instagram is just one more connection, one more way to connect with other people.

Instagram is a blessing because it connects us with people we would never otherwise meet. Amazon, for example, knows what you want, and it delivers it.

Instagram connects us to people we would never otherwise meet. Some people use it to find love, some to find friends, some to find new hobbies. Is it possible to know in advance what Instagram will connect you to?

But Instagram is a curse as well. Instagram connects us to people we would never otherwise meet, but it also connects us with people we wouldn’t otherwise meet. Most of the time, who you connect with on Instagram is of no interest to you. But there are some people, a couple of dozen in every large city, who you totally ignore, but whose pictures keep showing up in your feed.

For some people, Instagram is a force for social change. A few years back, the Arab Spring started as a wave of photographs posted on Facebook.

Body Image

Instagram has been described as everything from a blessing to a curse. Some people have the body image that the media portrays as perfect, and they feel that Instagram helps them achieve that goal. Others think it just makes them feel worse about themselves because they can’t achieve this image. The debate over Instagram’s effects on body image rages on in the court of public opinion, but there is scientific evidence for both sides.

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Toxic Environment

Instagram; the four magical letters that have created a toxic environment for many celebrities. From the attractiveness of “likes” to the popularity of “followers,” Instagram is to blame for much online drama.

Social Media is always changing, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. The newest social media that has taken the lead in its category is Instagram.

Are the images of food and faces with sunglasses on, hearts somewhere in the background, worth your time? Where do you draw the line between what’s appropriate and what isn’t? Are you going to tell your grandchildren, “Yeah, I used to go to Instagram. It was fun. We’d look at pictures of food and meet new people every day,” or will you just become one of those grandma’s that yell at teenagers through glass windows when they walk down your street.

You decide.

Social-free

In the lives of many high school students, it is used by some to express themselves, while others use it daily for social media. It can be addicting, or it can be relaxing. Some students love it, while others don’t know how to act when they get on Instagram. 

The blessing is that, by capturing fleeting glimpses of the world through photos, Instagram gives millions of people access to beauty and creativity, far beyond what the mass media generate.

The curse is that Instagram changes people’s approach to photography. In the traditional, carefully composed portrait, the photographer chooses the subject, captures it in the best possible light, and masters the technical aspects of photography. Instagram, by contrast, makes photography dependent on what the rest of us are posting. You can shoot in portrait mode, but your photos are at the mercy of what the other people you follow are posting.

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Overall, Instagram is not something everyone should beat themselves up about; they should accept who they are and present themselves to be on Instagram. Users shouldn’t feel like they have to look like other people; they just need to love themselves.

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Sasha Webster is an Eat News correspondent in the UK. Her writing and professional background as a publicist for close to 10 years gave her an advantage in her work. She can produce bespoke website content that is useful to the target audience; matters business and finance, technology, real estate, healthcare, as well as entertainment pieces.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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