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Instagram, social media impacts your mental health. Here’s how Culture News 

Instagram, social media impacts your mental health. Here’s how

You might be enjoying them, but you sure are not perceiving them the right way.

A perfectly-curated Instagram feed has become one of the must-haves of millennials. A feed is not a feed if it doesn’t display photos in the same filter. A meal is not “Instagrammable” without succulents on the side. An outfit isn’t an #ootd if it doesn’t have a picturesque background.

These benchmarks can be attributed to celebrities, bloggers, and influencers who seem to live in a world of particular colors—nature-inspired palettes, in white and blue, or even in black and white.

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While it is an honest-to-goodness confession that Instagram is the perfect place to store memories of your first Eurotrip, your new bikini or your date night, it does have its cons. In a recent study, Instagram was rated as the worst social media platform for young people’s mental health.

The UK-based research showed the networking site posted an overall negative score based on the answers of 1,500 participants aged 18 to 24 years old.

The criteria which tested the platforms’ influence included fear of missing out or FOMO, bullying, loneliness, anxiety, depression, body image, sleep, awareness, access, emotional support, self-identity, self-expression, real world relationships, and community building.

Instagram scored negative in seven out of the 14 criteria. Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter followed suit. Only Youtube scored positive in nine out of the 14 criteria.

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Instagram is considered as the new “visual diary” by many. It is where you collate your best experiences and share them to the world unscratched. But diaries are supposed to be raw, and that is one thing these seemingly-perfect feeds fail to make us realize.

People interpret Instagram’s (or other platforms) perfect feeds as the other people’s diaries. People interpret these feeds as the standards to what it means to live a life tagged as #goals. However, they often forget these photos are only little representations of a whole.

The thing to remember is, a bad experience is something that you would not want to blatantly announce, and the same goes with your “internet #goals.” They sure wouldn’t post their mascara-draped face because of a breakup, or their bloated stomach after a massive lunch. They would only post the good things they want to celebrate, thus being curated.

These people’s Instagram feeds, Snapchat stories, Facebook timelines, and Twitter profiles are only small fractions of the totality of their everyday existence.

Remember that they have a whole life offline just like you do. And that is the more honest version where they experience life dumps—may it be a failing grade, a bad breakup, an argument with a friend, a bad hair day—together with their triumphs. Don’t pattern your offline life with someone’s online persona.

Photo courtesy of We Are Social Media

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