While double-tapping the screen of a smartphone came to denote a “like” ever since Instagram gained its popularity in 2010, it also became correlated with social media depression, according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Instagram boasts 600 million monthly users with nearly 55 percent of young adults actively using the app, according to modolabs.com, so BYU-Idaho students are no exception to Instagram depression.
Claire Hacker, a senior studying communication, said she has experienced feelings of inadequacy while scrolling through the app before.
“I’ll see everyone’s posts about traveling, fashion, fitness, beauty and everything else, and I just think, ‘They have the perfect life; they’re flawless!’” Hacker said. “They make it look so easy to do everything and that they have no stresses or cares in their life.”
Social media has not only been proven to cause this feeling of depression, but the “exposure to highly idealized representations of peers on social media” can in turn fuel even more use of the social media, according to the UPMC study “Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.”
Chad Gray, a sophomore studying business, said he has his share of days when Instagram causes feelings of social media-related depression and inadequacy.
“I think through any type of social media, there will be some sort of social media-related depression or pressure going on,” Gray said.
Gray said he uses that pressure to help inspire him to become better.
Gray, who is emphasizing in social media marketing, said the pressure of intermingling school and a professional Instagram account has sometimes proven to be difficult. He said at times he gets down on himself, but that comes with the pressure of having this as a profession.
“The key is to recognize your weaknesses but not dwell on them,” Gray said. I also think about the other goals I have, like getting a degree, and so a lot of the time I have to remind myself to focus and balance everything I have that’s going on right now in my life.”
Hacker said the way she overcomes Instagram depression is by remembering that living a real life is more fun than living virtually. She said she thinks people try so hard to portray the perfect life.
“I guess at the end of the day, I try not to let it affect me, but definitely in the moment it can get to you,” Hacker said. “If you’re constantly on social media and looking at it, it can have a greater effect on you instead of you actually going out there and making a fun life for yourself.”