Instagram – A Brainjacker or a Brainjuvenator?

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Instagram contributes to more anxiety and depression – Forbes

Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing – Time

Instagram worst social media app for young people’s mental health – CNN

I Quit Instagram For Three Months to Heal My Idiot Brain – Hannah Smothers, Cosmopolitan

Instagram is the most harmful social network for your mental health – Quartz

Instagram ‘worst for young mental health’ – BBC News

There is a torrent of headlines on authentic sources, raising alarm against Instagram as the real villain, especially for the young brains. Well, you may be holding your smart device and reading this article, and even if you are not, you may be taking a pause from your laptop, only to pick that little being for the latest on social media, won’t you? To stop you from doing so, this article ought to be extremely arresting, but that really depends.

On an average, a smartphone user picks up the phone more than 100 times a day, without any reason. The fear of missing out (FOMO) compels them to check Instagram multiple times a day, in the midst of whatever they are doing, keep aside other platforms.

Who Controls the Bridle – Instagram or You?

Who Controls the Bridle - Instagram or You

In just a matter of a decade, Instagram has carved out its special place in everyone’s routine. The photo-sharing app is extremely addictive enough for uplifting moods owing to the increase in dopamine levels for most; a moreish delicacy no one wants to wish, and even for maintaining the bowel movements for many, so much that the addicted spends hours sitting on the commode, scrolling up and down!

Some of the Instagrammers posit it as the key driver of their lives.

Studies are underway, about the ways the excessive use of this technology can control the brain, taking its toll on brain function and leading to a narcissist behaviour setting fake ‘goals’ for fellow Instagrammers. Today, Instagram is made to stand in the stockade for being the major culprit behind increased anxiety levels and depression, yes depression led by desperate doomscrolling on the bottomless pane.

doomscrolling

Studies also suggest that the constant use of such apps for longer duration gravely impacts the brain potential, like no other. The lack of ‘deep thinking’ and brain exercise, due to the higher dependency on what it is exposed to, leading it to simply switch and float from one mood to the other. “Your brain changes moment by moment, according to what you expose it to,” she says. “When social media becomes what you overwhelmingly expose it to, you allow your brain to start changing networks and making neurotransmitters fire incorrectly. They won’t fire in harmony and your brainwaves won’t be coherent. This all causes abnormal pathways in the brain,” says Dr Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist.

A lot has already been said about how has Instagram conquered the brain, and drives it.

On the flipside, it is also said that social media has been changed by us to quench our aspirations, as new features and filters are added to it every now and then to satiate our predispositions. The rapidly changing human behaviour and ways of communication, have rather made social media look what it is today.

Several studies on social media and human behaviour are being conducted by Neuroscientists; according to some of them, social media recreates as much as gambling and other drugs. According to a study conducted by Trevor Haynes, Harvard University, the moment a notification is received, the brain releases Dopamine, which is known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone. It is associated with other worldly pleasures too, and is released during other activities like eating, exercising, expressing love, sexual intercourse, gambling, and lot more.

Well, the dopamine-triggering behavior becomes a habit with social media, especially with its quick, easy and round-the-clock access.

According to the sources, among all the social media platforms, Instagram has been considered to ‘poison’ the brain, as in a poll survey, people reported that the platform damages the mental health by increasing anxiety levels, jealousy and leads to narcissism, though no fool-proof evidences regarding methods to quantify the extent of damage, were provided to support this statement.

The Reality? Instagram Cares!

The Reality? Instagram Cares!

It would certainly be unjustifiable to consider Instagram to be the sole culprit behind the deteriorating mental health of people. In fact, there has been a latest move by the app itself, to diminish the root cause of anxiety, the total number of ‘likes’ from the posts, for the wellbeing of one and all.

So, instead of ‘Christine & 540 like this,’ you will see ‘Christine and others like this.’

As the Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri says, “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about. We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s wellbeing and health.”

The impact? There isn’t anything that can really be addressed by the social media app itself.

Writer Natasha Devon and mental health campaigner clearly states, “Every mental health academic I’ve spoken to agrees that, unless the user is being cyber-bullied, social media does not directly cause mental health issues. It can, however, exacerbate them. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of believing anything Instagram or any other platform can do would solve the crisis. We have arrived at this point because of a complex web of factors – not least of all, lack of mental health services.”

Instagram – A Rather Efficacious Medium for Mental & Emotional Well Being

A Rather Efficacious Medium for Mental & Emotional Well Being

For mindful users, Instagram has rather been serving as a medium for raising awareness about dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, loneliness, and eating disorders, and rejuvenating the brain by spreading the positive vibes. As Natasha continues, “This has helped de-stigmatise these conversations and given people a sense that they are not alone. Also, therapists have taken to the platform to share basic psychoeducation. Instagram itself is not inherently good or bad. It is what we do with it that counts.”

Considering the impact of the usage of social media platforms including Instagram, on all significant aspects including social, mental and emotional wellbeing, a study was conducted. It was found that the social media platforms are positively associated with all them. The unhealthy social media use accounts to some clinical interventions like training programs and sessions that help in the development of the ability to regulate own cravings and overcome the fears that may be helpful in issues pertaining to social media use.

So it all depends upon the ways people use the platform, rather than the duration they stay here for. In better terms, the findings indicate that as long as the platform is used mindfully, its regular use will never be a problem, rather will be helpful. Instagram has rather woven a network of like-mindedness, where the ideas and common interests are shared and celebrated, leading to a boosted mental health and well-being, especially when you hardly get ample time to socialize and mingle physically. The platform overcomes geographical barriers and expands your network like never before.

Apart from innumerable uses, Instagram is an incredible marketing platform for brands and businesses. Do you know, about 80% of users make purchases on this platform. The best part about Instagram marketing is that it does not hard sells your customers to your customers, and rather generates interest instantly with pictures that are more authentic than superfluous statements.

Understanding the power of Instagram marketing, Tarika Technologies follows the latest trends and techniques employed by the platform, and utilizes the best of its potential to market and develop unique and impressive brand identities.

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