Should Instagram be banned

This is how dangerous daily Instagram usage is

Have you already stopped by Instagram today? Probably several times, right?

Daily use of Instagram has come under strong criticism again and again. Rightly so, as a current study emphasizes once more.

How does the daily visit to Instagram affect Generation Y, i.e. people born between 1981 and 1995?

Vanessa Häusler from the SRH Fernhochschule - The Mobile University pursued this question.

The result of their study supports the knowledge already gained that Instagram poses a danger to the psyche of young people.

The psychological dangers of Instagram should not be underestimated

As part of her bachelor thesis "Effects of social networks on the health of Generation Y users using the example of the social media tool Instagram", Vanessa Häusler conducted an online survey among around 300 Generation Y people.

Once again, it became clear how strongly the social media platform affects self-confidence.

Instagram influences perception

“The study has shown that Instagram has an influence on the perception of being up-to-date for many users: If Instagram is not visited regularly, those affected develop the feeling that they are no longer up to date.

Because almost 64 percent of those surveyed stated that they often use Instagram before getting up because otherwise they feel like they are missing something, ”explains Vanessa Häusler.

This result was already produced in 2017 by the #StatusOfMind study by the British Royal Society for Public Health, which exposed Instagram as the most harmful social network.

A survey of 1,500 British social media users also revealed that Instagram in particular leads to a reduced self-image and negative body perception.

Why? Because highly edited images are posted there that propagate an alleged perfection.

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Sure: Anyone who looks at hundreds of pictures of wasp waists, steely muscles and porcelain-white teeth every day will no longer find themselves - the average consumer - beautiful at some point.

Algorithms: turn screw down

But Instagram has another dark side: the algorithms used by the app provide users with the content that interests them.

This initially applies to content with positive connotations such as sports, films or flowers: If, as a sports fan, I click on a fitness picture, then more sports topics are shown to me. Not asked.

However, the algorithms also work with negative content such as anorexia or self-harming behavior.

Dependent? Not me!

The problem with Instagram addiction: Most people don't realize they are addicted. This thesis is also confirmed in the current study by Vanessa Häusler.

Almost 70 percent of those surveyed said they could do without Instagram.

In direct comparison with the 64 percent who open the app before getting up, there is a clear distortion of perception: If I can do without Instagram, why do I check it first thing in the morning?

A contradiction which, according to Vanessa Häusler, shows one thing: "That most users cannot assess for themselves how pronounced their dependency and the fear of missing something already are."

The advantages of digital detox

It is no longer a secret that the flood of information that we expose ourselves to online leads to stress in everyday life: Instagram & Co. have to be followed on the one hand and filled with their own content on the other.

This takes time and ideas and in the worst case can lead to mental overload.

This is where digital detox comes into play: Don't just put your mobile phone down for a moment, but do without social media for longer stretches.

It also helps not to look into everything the World Wide Web has to offer.

Study author Häusler explains: “The pages you subscribe to should be selected more consciously in order to avoid a flood of information. It is also advisable to set a daily limit for usage. Like smoking, social media is an addiction where you know that it can have consequences, but you always think that this only affects others. "

Royal Society for Public Health (2017): Instagram ranked worst for young people's mental health, accessed on August 13, 2019 https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us/news/instagram-ranked-worst-for-young -people-s-mental-health.html
Häusler, V. (2019): Health risk Instagram - only the others are dependent, accessed on August 13, 2019 https://www.mobile-university.de/newsdetail/news/gesundheitsrisk-instagram-abhaengig-sind-nur-die- other /
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