Why Instagram can actually be very dangerous

Photo: The Phoblografer | Instagram

Instagram affects young people’s mental health

Instagram is one of the largest social networks in the world, and the youngest favorite. The new generation values the image more than words, and instagram has never been used more than at this time.

I admit that the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is to see my instagram. I do it even before I go to Facebook or see the news. Instagram is an excellent way to share details of our daily lives, interact with friends and even meet new people.

However, like other social networks, there is a great danger. Firstly, the danger of creating an illusion about the lives of each one that does not correspond to reality.

A study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) revealed that Instagram has “the most detrimental effect on young people’s health.” The study involved more than 1500 people between the ages of 14 and 24. For the study, they took into account factors such as the time of use of social networks and mental health.

Instagram ranked number one in negatively affecting those predisposed to depression, insomnia and poor self-perception. RSP’s study suggests implementing some protective measures to lessen the negative impact of instagram in youngsters. Some of those measures are:

  • Introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning on social media – include the support from young people for each of these recommendations
  • Social media platforms to identify users who could be suffering from mental health problems by their posts, and discretely signpost to support
  • Social media platforms to highlight when photos of people have had digital manipulation

There is a real danger in our reliance on social media, especially for the younger ones, who often do not understand that virtual reality is a distorted version of reality. Instagram has made protecting its users a priority, and I believe it should continue on this path.

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