Before I start sounding holier-than-thou, let me begin by admitting that I’m actually on Instagram.
I’m not an ardent follower but I find the platform interesting and fun to a greater extent.
Now this is the problem I have with Instagram as with every social media platform. Whereas these platforms brought us closer and made communication easier, they enabled many fake and imaginary lifestyles. If you think Facebook is bad enough, you clearly haven’t tried Instagram.
My younger sister who is in Form 3 is quick to remind me how boring I’m to be still active on Facebook and how she has far more followers on Instagram than I do.
So, when I saw this CNN article on how Instagram has been declared the worst social media App for young people’s health, I remember asking myself, surely, who needs a study to tell them the rather obvious?
From the obsession that was created out of Instagram since its launch you knew this was coming.
And I’ll tell you why.
Nobody uses Instagram to whine about his or her unreasonable boss, unemployment, big belly, empty wallet, terrible relationship or any other frustrations. On Instagram, you only want people to see the unbelievably beautiful aspects of your life whether real or imaginary.
The other problem with this Instagram generation is that so many young people feel the urge for people to “like” their 50 selfies a day. Substance has been lost on an entire generation.
It reminded me of a photo I once saw that best described the situation we are in.
The problem with this fad is that so many young people end up looking at themselves under a super-magnified lens and seeing all their imperfections. If at 10-years-old the only thing you’re keeping up with on your phone during a holiday are Hollywood celebrities then you’ll have a problem.
All that you’ll be staring at are photoshop-perfect and airbrushed pictures. In almost all these pictures, cellulite’s removed, any wrinkle lines and pimples expunged. The detail is so perfect since most of them are usually semi-named or fully naked. The butts have been toned, thighs trimmed and any slight hint of an imperfection eliminated.
That’s why when Kim Kardashian’s untouched photos were leaked a month or so back, it was a big story. Because, everyone now knew. Not even Kim Kardashian is as perfect as she portrays herself to be.
In a nutshell, Instagram is just so fake.
And do you think young school girls who struggle with their own beauty and body image won’t have it worse as a result of seeing the ‘perfect’ photos?
Of course they will.
I’m not a mother but I can tell you that if I’m ever blessed to be one, at no point will any of my children have a smartphone at 10 years old. Not in my household. Children nowadays are being raised by technology which has created this circus.
The most important thing to point out to young people though would be that no one’s life is perfect but majority selectively share only the bright side of their lives. Also, for every ‘perfect’ photo, there are about 10 not so good ones which have been deleted. Then we’ll all be liberated from this fad and no one will have to suffer mental health because of the life they see lived on Instagram.
Finally, I agree there is a problem that needs to be addressed. But honestly I don’t know the right approach that should be taken.