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Mental Health

Is Instagram bad for your mental health?

Instagram. One of the many apps us young college students love to use. You can view all your favorite celebrity’s pictures, visit some cute pets, and post your favorite selfies. Sounds great right? It can be, but I believe there is a problem with Instagram,

it can mess with your self-confidence.

It all starts with the #StatusOfMind survey conducted on the positive and negative results of social media. The Royal Society for Public Health examined 1,500 teens and young adults from ages 14-24 for this mental health survey.

According to their report, nine in 10 girls say they are unhappy with their body. One study in their report claims that girls expressed a heightened desire to change their appearances such as face, hair, or skin after spending time on Instagram. Around 70% of 18-24-year-olds would consider having a cosmetic surgical procedure.

Why do we feel this way?

Now, I don’t know the scientific answer, but as a woman who uses Instagram and other social media, I can explain my experiences.

I’ll admit it, I’ve had low self-esteem and low self-confidence for years–Ever since I was young. I grew up in the age of social media. I remember when Instagram became a thing. I remember making my first post back in 2011. It was of my friend’s cat, Bubby. Then Instagram becomes much more than that.

I started using it for selfies, as did my friends. I got self-conscious because my friends looked better than me. They looked skinnier than me. They had a better face than me. It’s 2019, and till this day, I will avoid Instagram if I’m not having a confident day. I do this because I know I will see someone or a friend who looks amazing when I feel like a potato.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my article, it’s a great place to follow all your favorite celebrities (and other beautiful people), but this is where the problem lies. We see all these great looking people, and we look nothing like that. The use of Instagram filters makes us something we are not. We sometimes love the filters so much, that we wish we could actually look like that all the time. Most of us can’t afford plastic surgery to make our face the way we want it to– and that’s perfectly okay. We as a society need to accept what we are given.

Society expects all women to look the same– beautiful, skinny and tan. We know that not all women look like this. We are all different in our own way.

I know I’m starting to sound like a mom, but it’s true. We are all beautiful and different, and we need to start embracing it more.

 

Sara is an Integrative Public Relations Major at Central Michigan University. She hopes to work in a PR agency one day, managing social media for clients. When she's not reading yet another book from one of her three bookshelves, she can be found cuddling her cats, Luna and Selene. 
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