Instagram is one of the most influential social media channels. Instagram is great for showcasing your content, exploring valuable content, and promoting business. Instagram has many things to offer, from success stories of mega influencers with millions of Instagram followers to great creative intellectuals. But is Instagram harming teenagers?
Before coming to a conclusive answer, let’s explore the pros and cons of Instagram for teens.
Pros of Instagram for Teenagers
1. A Platform to Connect with Friends
Instagram is an excellent platform for teenagers to connect with friends and family. It is a widely used channel to share pictures and videos, update everyday activity and know what your friends are doing. Gone are the days when you longed to hear about your old friends. Now it is easy to connect and stay in touch.
Medical research shows teenagers connected with friends are happier and less prone to depression. Even when friends move apart, they can keep in touch and regularly update their activities.
2. A Platform for Teens to Express
Instagram is a great platform to promote visual content; even today, visual creativity is a form of expression. Teenagers can express their emotions on a platform when they cannot say them with words. Instagram is an excellent platform to let it go if they have something within their heart.
Independent research shows that social media is a good platform for teens to establish their identity. Teens need to express their feelings, and Instagram gives them the opportunity and platform to do so.
3. A Place to Showcase Talent.
Instagram likes on posts is a proof of popularity. The follower’s base can be talent, charisma, or exciting pictures. A teenager hitting the mark is commendable when the internet is full of compelling content. It boosts confidence and shows the way ahead for the future.
Instagram is an excellent platform for talent showcasing without being an influencer. The content can become an earning platform if creative, educative, and engaging. The trick will work for future engagements by generating enough Instagram likes. The number of likes accredits creativity and popularity.
4. Social Skills
Social media is an excellent platform to enhance social skills. It provides teens to interact with like-minded people. Research conducted by Brillia shows that shy teenagers are uncomfortable interacting. Social media platforms like Instagram help reticent and anxious teens to open up more freely.
Cons of Instagram for Teenagers
5. Instagram Can Cause Low Self Esteem
A medical research found that excessive use of Instagram adversely affects mental health. Pictures of beautiful people and trendy clothes may lead to appearance anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem.
Teenagers who excessively post selfies and touch-up pictures are low on esteem and feel less attractive. Interestingly, the adverse outcomes were much more significant when teenagers used filter techniques to look pretty.
6. Brain Activity is Associated with Likes
There is a subtle difference between use and misuse. A teenager looking for likes and Instagram followers to enhance their social network and educative purpose is on the right track. At the same time, those anxious about likes on their selfies or posts may be damaging their thought process.
Those who adjust to the social sphere can manage their life and behavior better than those obsessed with pictures and posts. Brain FMRI study indicates changes in brain functioning with Instagram likes received on posts. Brain activity increased when a person received more likes on an Instagram post.
7. Poor Sleeping Habits
Instagram and other social media sites are associated with anxiety, depression, and anxious behavior. These results were compiled after extensive research on 1500 teenagers in the UK’s public health society. The reports indicate the more significant number of hours spent on Instagram by teenagers, the greater the risk.
Parents need to limit screen time for teenagers and monitor their social media activity. Excessive hours on Instagram lead to teens compared with others. It creates a false image of body shapes, intelligence, and compulsive behavior.
8. Interaction with Strangers
Teenagers accept followers even if they don’t know a person. The reason is to maintain a good number of Instagram followers to show off. The more followers there is pressure to create engaging content and update regularly. It can lead to anxiety and poor performance in academics.
In many cases, there have been cases of pictures being misused by strangers. In addition, it is also a primary cause of cyberbullying.
Teenage is the age of curiosity and exploring new things. But is Instagram toxic for teens? The question may be simple, but the answer is not direct. Instagram can be a stepping stone; at the same time, it can cause addiction. The immediate answer lies in the cause one is exploring Instagram and the self-discipline a teenage child can inculcate. In addition, proper guidance from parents is always essential.