With Google searches for “how to delete Instagram” recently surpassing searches for “how to delete Facebook” it begs the question: are people falling out of love with Instagram?
It’s not hard to see why some might be thinking about turning their backs on Instagram.
It’s filled with picture perfect snapshots of people’s lives. And we can’t help but compare ourselves.
She’s just a bought a new house.
He’s off travelling around the world.
I need that hair.
She’s lost weight.
I need that wardrobe.
Their kids are so well behaved.
It goes on and on.
With those kinds of posts from our friends and strangers, interspersed with ads for appetite suppressant lollipops and teas that position “a flat and toned stomach but the bust and posterior of someone whose body mass index is considerably higher” as completely attainable, it’s so easy to feel like you’re not enough.
Social media in general has been linked with anxiety, depression and low self esteem. But it seems Instagram has the worst effects on young people:
Imagine trying to explain Instagram to someone from 1950. It would seem super fucked up:
“Basically, it’s like if every minute of the day, all your friends were over at your house showing you slideshows to make you jealous of their lives. Also: secretly, everyone is very sad”
— Andrew Wilkinson (@awilkinson) August 29, 2018
why does my own instagram make me sad
— terri (@terribryant29) August 29, 2018
Being sad on twitter is like lmao bro me too. Being sad on instagram is just like…sad
— carLs (@carlsisntfunny) August 25, 2018
That’s not to say the platform is devoid of any joy. There are loads of Instagram accounts that spread body positive messages, acceptance and just general happiness:
Megan Jayne Crabbe runs the account, @bodyposipanda, promoting “body positivity, feminism, and how dogs are better than humans.”
View this post on Instagram
YOU DESERVE BETTER. Every. Single. Time. Leaving this here for anyone who forgets sometimes that they’re worthy of respect regardless of how their body looks or anyone’s opinion on it. And if you’ve got any go-to responses to body shaming that might help someone else, leave them down below 🙏💜💙💚🌈🌞 · · · [Image description: a series of tweets by Megan that read “Reminders: You do not deserve to be body shamed by a partner. Being in a relationship doesn’t give someone ownership over your body OR the right to dictate what you do with it. It’s still YOUR body. You deserve better. You do not deserve to be body shamed by a family member. Not even if its ‘out of concern’. Not even if they ‘want what’s best for you’. Making you feel worthless in your body will never be what’s best for you. You deserve better. You do not deserve to be body shamed by your doctor. You are entitled to competent healthcare without guilt, fear or shame. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and any medical professional should know that. You deserve better. You do not deserve to be body shamed by ANY person EVER and especially not the people who claim to care for, support, or love you. Nobody in the world gets a free pass on making you feel worthless in your body. Okay?”]
@weratedogs does exactly what it says on the tin.
Humans of New York (@humansofny) shares real, heartwarming and often uplifting stories from people all around the world.
View this post on Instagram
“The first thing I noticed was a tremor. I’m a computer programmer and I kept accidentally hitting the shift key. Then I started to lose my sense of smell. And finally came the depression. My wife made me see a doctor. She said to me: ‘Either you get on an antidepressant, or I’m going to.’ That’s when I learned I had Parkinson’s. Over the years my tremors got worse. My voice got quieter. I had to quit working. My dopamine levels fell so low that I lost communication between my brain and face. I couldn’t express any emotion. My daughter grew up without seeing me smile. I probably seemed distant. A lot of times I felt like I couldn’t fit in with the rest of the family. Then a few months ago I had an experimental surgery. They inserted a wire in my head that stimulates the brain with electricity. Now all my emotions are coming back. I’m more talkative. I have more energy. I’ve cried more in the last few months than I have in the past thirty years. And for the first time in her entire life, my daughter can finally see me smile.”
But maybe the bad is starting to outweigh the good?
Of course, this Google search trend shift could simply be down to the fact that those who were originally searching how to do delete Facebook have been successful in getting rid of it (and there’s no forgetting the rush to get rid of Facebook amidst the data scandal which will have caused a spike that has now dropped).
The thing with social media, is that it’s cyclical. Platforms will become more popular than others as people’s perceptions of life change. There’s just currently a shift away from the perfect visual nature of Instagram towards real experiences and connections. It’s now more important than ever to create honest and meaningful dialogues with audiences, as seen with the recent backlash against this sponsored influencer post for Listerine:
View this post on Instagram
The best of days start with a smile and positive thoughts. And pancakes. And strawberries. And bottomless tea. My morning routine is now live on YouTube – and while I don’t show you my real bed hair (trust me, it’s not pretty), I do give you a little insight into how I start my day in a positive way. Head over to my stories for a swipe up link – and let me know what you think! It features my morning habit of rinsing with Listerine Advanced White to help whiten my teeth. @listerineukireland #BringOutTheBold | This is a paid partnership with Listerine.
However, with recent statistics stating that Instagram has reached one billion active users, there’s no fear of the platform becoming a desolate wasteland. And with the introduction of long form videos and the ability to make money from ads, it’s still a great place for businesses to thrive. Just look at Flat Tummy Co.