Instagram is a relatively new platform compared to some other ones such as Facebook or Twitter. However, it took the market by storm. Ever since it was created Instagram gained popularity amongst young people almost immediately. Nowadays, majority of young people use Instagram regardless of how active they are online. Some do not even post pictures but have the account just so they can follow others for inspiration. It is a platform that allows people to share images and tell a story without having to describe everything in detail. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and that is the concept of Instagram.
As happy as it all sounds there are still some downsides to using this platform especially for the youth. Young people are easily influenced by the outside world and with the creation of Instagram it became even more evident. According to the latest reports Instagram is considered as one of the most detrimental influences on the mental health of young people. Out of all the platforms this is the one that has the most negative effect. Many teens develop depression and anxiety as well as loneliness. It’s all due to the fact that seeing your peers succeed puts a whole lot of pressure on you. Not to mention many people publish their pictures and make it seem like they lead such accomplishing lives when in fact they are just as lonely as the rest.
Pictures can tell a lot but at the same time they hide things just as well. This is exactly what’s happening with the youth. They see others achieving things and living fulfilling lives but what they do not realize is that it is not necessarily the reality. There are a lot of things behind the curtain that those young people simply do not see. It becomes more of a marketing tool, because you pick exactly the things you would like to highlight about your life and you hide those that you do not want to be seen.
When teens look at models, people traveling the world and making their lives seem picture perfect, they do not grasp the idea that behind all that those people are just like anyone else. They all have their obstacles in life and their downfalls. Young people think they have to live up to those standards in order to be successful or happy in life. When in fact they can make their lives seem just as exciting if only they knew how to market it properly. Stefano Pedretti, fast growing Instagram influencer and Co-founder of Ready2Social - IG Strategy says that “it’s important for people to find good role models who would inspire instead of creating unrealistic images and putting pressure on those young people as a result. The person posting pictures holds responsibility and a purpose to motivate others along their journey and not do the opposite.”
Instagram has about 700 million users and a lot of them are young people in their teens and mid-twenties. So many teenagers are using it, yet no one teaches them how to use the platform in order to reap benefits instead of mental illnesses. There are many ways Instagram could be exploited to actually keep you motivated and eager to achieve things in life.
One of the ways is to use it as a form of connection with your friends and make new connections with others. The platform allows you to comment and even send private messages making it very easily to keep in touch with anyone who is close to you. You can also use Instagram to stay on track of the things you are currently trying to achieve. If you post regularly you would be able to track your progress and see how well you are doing. This results in higher self-esteem and increased motivation. For many, Instagram works as a tool of self-discovery and development. Looking back at the things you have done will surely make you feel better and uplift you in case you need some encouragement that day. All these little insights need to be shared with the youth in order to guide them and help them make the most out of the social media platforms available in this day and age.