Instagram detox self-test: “I gave up Instagram for a month – and that’s what happened to me!”
Instagram has been part of my everyday life since the app was launched. Both professionally and privately, I use the social media platform and find out about the latest hairstyles of the stars as well as my best friend’s latest vacation. The fact that Instagram accompanies me in so many areas of my life means that I spend a horrendous amount of my life with social media. I’ve often heard that it’s not supposed to be that healthy. Of course I know that social media has become an integral part of modern everyday life. But I think it’s just as important to ask yourself what level is appropriate. And we should definitely talk about how it affects our psyche.
Studies have shown it for a long time: Instagram is unhealthy
As I research the topic, I find shocking news about how toxic Instagram really is. Even if Facebook repeatedly claims that the subsidiary platform Instagram does not have a negative effect on the psyche, there are numerous studies that prove the opposite. The irony is that even Facebook itself is said to be conducting studies on this topic. The results of one of these are the magazine Wall Street Journal got into hands. It says: “We make body image problems worse in three out of ten girls.” The internal study is said to have even found that Instagram is even more toxic than other social media channels because of its focus on bodies and lifestyles.
A large-scale British study from 2017 also confirms this. A survey of 1,500 British adolescents and young adults shows that Instagram can have particularly negative effects on the psyche: the respondents stated that Instagram – compared to other social media Platforms – lead to a diminished self-image, negative body image and even depressive moods.
Psychologists from the Ruhr University Bochum also researched the topic “All my online friends are better than me” and conducted three studies on the subject. The results: Social comparison through social media leads to lower self-esteem and can even lead to psychological problems.
Overall, the study situation is frightening. Even if I don’t have the feeling that social media affects me psychologically, I sometimes find myself peering enviously at the experiences of others. And of course I also compare myself physically. It’s in my DNA because I didn’t grow up in times of body positivity, even though I practice it every day. But I think that’s a general problem for us women that we should face more often. So I’m coming to the conclusion that an Instagram detox could actually be good for me.
Instagram break: This is how I start the self-experiment
In order not to miss the latest acts of the stars professionally, I put the Instagram break in my longer annual vacation. Next step: So that I don’t get tempted either, I uninstall the app directly from my phone. So the hurdle is bigger. If I were tempted, I’d have to reinstall everything and remember my password.