There’s no doubt about it — this modern society has a smartphone addiction. In the last ten years, iPhones and social media have become so ingrained in today’s culture and social interactions that people are glued to their tiny screens from the moment they wake to the second their eyes shut at night. However, many social media apps have also changed the ways the masses live their lives. Instagram, namely, is to blame for our fixation and addiction for reaching a never-ending goal — absolute perfection.
Instagram Posts and Body Image: The Normalization of FaceTune
While many people utilize skin smoothing filters on their selfies to look their best, there’s an even darker side of digital body modification on the app. FaceTune is an app that can edit and modify any part of the body. Not only can you smooth wrinkles and blemishes, but the user can shrink their waist, plump their lips, and shave down their jawline — creating a completely fabricated face that complies with whatever popular beauty trend has popped up. You don’t have to be an experienced photographer and anyone can completely change their features in seconds. In fact, it’s also been so normalized, many beauty influencers on the internet have made videos entailing how they modify their own photos. You can be whatever you envision, which can be quite harmful to the psyche.
The Highlight Reel
Social media is typically scrutinized as being far from real life. Instagram posts only include the curated highlight reel of someone’s life, making it seem more fascinating than it is. The user, after all, has complete control of what they can post to make it look like they drive the best cars, attend the best restaurants, and work the job of their dreams.
Why is Instagram so Addicting?
Social media is instantly gratifying. People can live vicariously through other people’s stories and IGTV posts. They can find people who inspire them to work out, travel, and just live a more interesting life. This social media platform also allows you to hop onto new trends and connect with people across the globe. You can also create a feed that contains all of your favorite topics by following content creators in several different niches. All these factors contribute to the infinite scroll on the photo-sharing app. The end result? You never want to log off.
Are Influencers to Blame on This Social Media Platform?
While social media users can’t place the blame on the select influencers who have grown on the platform, there is a question of whether these personalities contribute to the insane addiction.
These internet influencers teeter on the edge of being relatable while simultaneously living a glamorous lifestyle. It’s enticing and makes young and susceptible users likely to follow them, giving the influencer precisely what their title entails —influence over their audience.
It Can Also Be Used For Good: Utilizing the Algorithm to Boost Brand Engagement
Amidst all the toxicity of the internet, yes, the app can be used for good. Brands can enhance their engagement using the Instagram algorithm to land on the explore page of the app, allowing new users to discover their content. And yet, this is how the app keeps a hold on its users. This benefit, along with the feeling of togetherness it provides, keeps users coming back — even if it does more harm than good. Whether they’re scrolling down their feeds (which, yes can seem infinite) at the break of dawn or on their lunch break, it can feel almost impossible for users to put their phones down.