5 Reasons Why Instagram is Toxic: The Dark Side of the Platform!

6 Reasons Why Instagram is Toxic - The Dark Side of IG

Instagram as a platform has evolved from being a photo-sharing app to a video one. With the growth of Instagram in the past few years, there are numerous reports that Instagram has a negative impact on the overall well-being of a user. To be an active member on Instagram means to have an overwhelming experience in general, so time and again, users take a break from Instagram by deactivating their account or simply deleting it. If you are someone who wants to know is Instagram toxic, then you are at the right place. In this article, I will tell you why Instagram is toxic. 

As an avid Instagram user, I can vouch that the platform is quite addictive, especially with its reels feature, you can easily spend hours doom-scrolling on the app without a break, and it can have an adverse effect on your mental health. There are experiments being carried out about the dangers of Instagram for teenagers and the dangers of Instagram for adults, and the results are quite shocking and disappointing. 

So, without further ado, let’s dig in to learn about why Instagram is toxic for relationships and is Instagram harmful.

5 Reasons Why Instagram is Toxic

In a study conducted in 2017 by the Royal Society For Public Health and Young Health Movement (YHM), Instagram was listed as the most toxic and negative social media platform, especially for teenagers and young adults. Now that it is established with a study that the impact Instagram has on its users is quite negative, it is time to understand how Instagram is toxic. 

Reason 1:  Sets Unrealistic Standards

Why Instagram is Toxic

The first reason why Instagram is Toxic is for setting unrealistic standards. Instagram is time and again blamed for setting unrealistic standards and meaningless comparisons. An average user believes that the Instagram life of top influencers is the standard and falsely follow these standards as well; thus, Instagram clearly penetrates the sense of insecurity for its users.  

The belief that the standard set on Instagram is real makes it difficult for a user to draw a line between reel and real life, thus setting unhealthy standards and affecting your life slowly but surely. 

Reason 2: Creates Unhealthy Comparisons

Instagram is time and again accused of creating barriers by unhealthy comparisons on the platform. Unhealthy social comparisons mean that you compare your life and everything you post on Instagram with what others have posted. Once you do that, you set an unrealistic standard that you begin chasing. 

Comparisons on Instagram lead to feelings of insecurity, self-inadequacy, and even serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. So, unhealthy comparisons are one of the major reasons why Instagram is toxic. 

Reason 3: Fear of Missing Out

Why Instagram is Toxic

As an active member on Instagram, you must know what FOMO means; fear of missing out is another big factor that impacts your well-being. For example, if you go out with your friends, instead of enjoying your time together, you are wondering when you are going to post about it on Instagram, thus losing the moment and constantly worrying about how it looks on the ‘gram. Doesn’t this seem toxic?

A temporary break on Instagram plays with your head, and you constantly worry that you might be missing something important on the platform; even if you are on a break from Instagram, the platform is still not letting you to relax and thus, embedding the fear of missing out. 

Reason 4: Constant Dopamine Rush

Why Instagram is Toxic

Instagram plays with your brain chemicals; for example, when you post something on the platform, and you find positive interactions about it, like someone liked it or commented on it, the brain will feel the dopamine rush. Constant dopamine rush is another reason why Instagram is toxic.

According to researcher Trevor Haynes, when you get a positive social media notification, your brain sends a chemical messenger called dopamine along a reward pathway, which makes you feel good. Earlier, dopamine was associated with food, exercise, love, gambling, drugs, and now, social media as well. 

Reason 5: Reduces Concentration Span

If you are someone who thinks that their attention and concentration have gone for a toss, guess what it is not gone; it was stolen by social media platforms like Instagram. Instagram easily involves you with short-form videos i.e. reels, thus making your brain addicted to the instant rush. You don’t involve yourself in activities like cooking a meal, reading a book, or talking to your family, but instead, you will spend that time in doom scrolling on Instagram for that rush.  

Wrapping Up

Instagram never stops experimenting. But many reports have stated that Instagram as a platform can be quite draining and it can affect your life negatively. If you are someone who wants to know why Instagram is toxic and how it affects your mental health, read the entire article and do share it with your friends.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the dangers of Instagram?

One of the biggest dangers of Instagram is privacy risks, social comparison, and negative body image.

2. Why Instagram is bad for body image?

 Unrealistic depictions of the female form on Instagram can cause feelings of inadequacy and even depression, leading to destructive habits, such as skipping meals or over-exercising.

3. Is Instagram a toxic platform?

Yes, Instagram is considered a toxic platform, as studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems. 

4. Is Instagram bad for mental health?

Yes, earlier, Instagram was only associated with self-expression and self-identity, but studies have lately shown that the platform is also associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, and more. 

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