Instagram is a massive and daily influence on many of the 300 million users’ lives. Instagram provides a platform that strictly contains photographs and interaction is limited to comments. The endless filters and effects possible to alter your photographs to your liking creates a warped depiction of reality. Rather than experiencing a moment, someone may be more interested in capturing a photograph for the “perfect” Instagram to relay how incredible their life is. in reality, these photos are slivers and staged creations of what one’s reality truly is.
I recently read an article investigating the effects Instagram has on self-esteem and overall confidence. The article points out that it is hard to scroll through Instagram and not be envious of beautiful pictures posted by people you are following, often causing you to question why your life doesn’t measure up. This promotes an idea in our mind that other people are doing better and are living a more fulfilling life. Many users feel as if they need to maintain an image of themselves and feel the pressure to frequently post a picture just to prove they are having a good time. One’s happiness is no longer measured by your own feelings about your life, but rather how you are appearing on your Instagram page.
The article reminded me of the age-long discussion of self-image and beauty. Young girls are experiencing Instagram and the accompanying feelings of envy, causing them to question their own self-image. The detrimental effects of negative self-image has been explored in our Keywords essays as well as The Bluest Eye(Keywords for Children’s Literature, Coats). Young girls are being exposed to these notions of beauty and self-image at an incredibly young age, planting the seed for negative self-image. In The Bluest Eye, the main characters feel less-than other girls because of the color of their skin, which they are taught from a young age is not as pretty as having white skin. Young girls using Instagram are indirectly being told they are not as attractive as other girls based on the number of likes their photos receive, causing them to constantly compare themselves to others who are allegedly prettier than they are just based on a number.