What Happened to Instagram During COVID-19?

Sitting at home with adjusted school and work schedules is definitely not how many people expected to be spending their spring and potentially summer of 2020.

Although COVID-19 has been an ongoing problem, it wasn’t until recently that people were sent home from college, laid off from work, and told to remain inside their homes and away from others in just the blink of an eye.

In a society that’s constantly hustling and maintaining appearances, it’s difficult to grasp the concept of a virus severely affecting many aspects of life.

However, numbers are skyrocketing, and people still remain at home.

There are many obvious changes, such as the increased concern for hygiene and the urge to stay away from crowds. 

Nonetheless, one of the less talked about aspects affected by COVID-19 is the effects on social media, specifically Instagram.

Instagram has grown into one of the most popular social media platforms, so many people are cautious of what they post.

As expectations continue to grow, many are concerned with how their followers will perceive them, thus changing how and what they choose to post. 

Many are so concerned that a lot of Instagram accounts now look very similar to one another because everyone wants to do what everyone else is doing.

For example, if a social media influencer posts wearing a trendy outfit while walking around in the city, more people might have the desire to post in a similar outfit or location.

Social media intends to give people the right to express themselves in whatever way they want.

However, if everyone keeps holding themselves to such high standards to fit in, a lack of originality develops on Instagram. 

After losing sight of the purpose of Instagram and forgetting to just be *gasp* themselves, many are advocating to “make Instagram casual again.”

And the recent need to stay home during COVID-19 has helped significantly.

People usually post pictures of concerts, sports games or aesthetically-appealing vacations.

Basically, people want to impress their followers with their posts.

But now, people are unsure how to impress their followers from the confines of their home. 

Being on house arrest can definitely cause people to do things that are “out of the norm,” and posting on Instagram is no exception.

Instead of posting with friends at large gatherings, we’re seeing posts showing off the healthy recipe of banana bread people just tried or the 1,000-piece puzzle they just finished. 

Instagram challenges have also become very popular, and nominations are spreading among followers like wildfire. 

One of my personal favorite challenges that I have seen is the “until tomorrow” challenge, which is when people post an embarrassing photo or video of themselves that they only keep up for one day.

The trick is that people who unknowingly like this photo or video will get messaged to do the challenge themselves. So watch out for posts with the caption “until tomorrow”! 

Another challenge I’ve enjoyed is the first picture challenge, where people are challenged to post the first picture on their camera roll.

Many have also participated in the push-up challenge, also known as the “see 10, do 10” challenge, where people see 10 push-ups on their Instagram feeds and respond with 10 push-ups of their own.

Many variations of these challenges have been created, and you can even come up with your own challenge that might start trending.  

Right now, Instagram is evolving into a way for people to publicize their accomplishments or find a sense of joy during a time of distress and uncertainty.