Instagram has attracted millions of people worldwide, and it has become a part of our everyday lives. We are obsessed with likes, followers and many started to have low self-esteem by comparing others. Experts say people find it hard to stay off the phone because they suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. 

Psychological Reasons 

Scrolling Instagram can have negative effects on mental health, which can cause anxiety, depression, and isolation. These days, people get addicted to 24-hour highlight stories and suffer from fear of missing out (FOMO). 

These stories were launched in 2016 to share “everyday moments that make up your life.” According to marketing analytics company 99firms after a year of launch, Instagram reached 150 million users on stories which doubled in 2017. Whereas now more than 500 million people interact with Instagram stories daily. 

Dr. Raffaello Antonio, psychologist and founder of Therapy Central says “Instagram stories work like Netflix episodes and just like them, we’re compelled to binge-watch. The fact that Instagram is even more compelling to watch one after the other.” That is why people can’t stop scrolling Instagram stories.

Persuasive design in the apps influences human behavior through product characteristics or design. This is used often in e-commerce and public health. Persuasive design is like a drug addiction in which the user ends up being misused or destroyed.  

On the other hand, people are addicted to watching their own stories multiple times. It is said that this act is similar to Looking- Glass Self theory which was developed by Charles Cooley in 1902. Looking- Glass Self Theory is a process by which people view and evaluate themselves on how others perceive them. “This makes us feel the only way to push our confidence up is by posting our perfect projection of ourselves,” says Raffaello. 

Mental Impact 

Heavy usage of social media is closely related to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and loneliness which can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Many start living their life by comparing others who don’t even know about your existence. Coming to appearance, social media can trigger body dysmorphic disorder. Dr. Leela Magavi, a community psychiatrist, says story filters make us spend hours comparing what it will be like without it. “Children and adults of all ages shared that they are ashamed of posting photographs of themselves without filters, and many even have discussed the idea of getting plastic surgery to look more like the filtered version of themselves.” 

Tips To Get Rid Of Instagram Addiction

If you’re more worried about the Instagram story circle than your own circle, follow these steps to overcome the addiction. 

  1. Turn off your notifications
  2. Don’t sleep next to your phone
  3. Have time tracking apps and set boundaries 
  4. Set goals and Hobbies 
  5. Reduce the amount of time you spend 
  6. Limit social media apps

One must remember their self-worth does not depend on Instagram likes and followers. If social media makes you feel stressed or anxious just uninstall the app. In the end, nothing is worth your mental health!