One of the most famous social networking platforms is Instagram. It started as a platform for sharing images and photos of people, pets, places, food, and everything else. Later on, people were able to post short videos, then longer ones and the newest addition to the platform is the feature of Reels.
It is a fun way to engage with others and a great place to kill time. The younger generations love Instagram and spend an enormous amount of time using it; some even made a career out of posting on the platform and are now influencers. But with all this greatness comes a few negativities, like Instagram addiction, that we will discuss in this article.
The definition of Instagram addiction and its signs
Like the internet and social media addiction, Instagram addiction is when a person’s use of the platform becomes habitual rather than just for fun. People are considered to be Instagram addicts when they cannot stay away from their phones; they always check to see who posted, who liked their posts, who commented, how many people saw and interacted with their stories, and other unproductive things that take hold of their minds and thoughts. Spending excessive time on the app rather than caring for their other obligations and real-life relations.
All of the mentioned signs of Instagram addiction, and people may experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop using the app. Other signs of Instagram addiction include:
- The first thing a person does after waking up is to check Instagram
- If the person wakes in the middle of the night, they cannot resist checking the app
- When the person thinks of a great caption for a photo even before taking it
- If the person uses apps to edit photos before posting them
- If the person loses interest in all other hobbies and activities
- If the person feels a rush of adrenaline each time, their posts get a like
The reasons that make Instagram highly addictive
Everyone knows that social media has negative impacts on people’s mental health. Even though social media is kind of a new concept, researchers have shown that it affects a person’s emotional well-being and self-esteem. It may not cause enormous harm on its own, but it has negative effects on those who already suffer from low self-esteem and a mental illness; or those prone to having such problems.
So, people suffering from depression or loneliness can turn to Instagram for fun and company, seeking validation; in these cases, addictive behavior is more likely to happen.
Social media increases hormone levels such as dopamine in a person’s brain, making them feel good. People may experience a brief moment of pleasure when someone likes their photo or follows them; this feeling of happiness will then be craved by the brain, reinforcing addictive behavior.
Ex-employees of Google, Apple, and Facebook have revealed that Instagram was actually designed to be addictive. It uses sophisticated, data-driven methods to seduce people to stay as much time as possible on the app; that is done for Instagram to generate more advertising revenue.
The way to break Instagram addiction
1. Cutting down the use of Instagram and spending fewer and fewer hours on it
The number one piece of advice for an addict should not be to cut the use of the drug altogether because that will cause them to go into shock, and they will surely rebound; instead, cut down the use. Slowly but surely, the person will learn how to control their urges and desire to be on the platform, and eventually, it will stop meaning as much.
2. Turning off all notifications from Instagram
Switching the notifications off will reduce the temptation to use the app. No one can resist seeing all notifications as soon as they hear them, especially not an addict. So turning them off will help relax the person’s brain a bit and take their mind off the platform and all that is happening.
3. Using tools that can help people spend less time on the app
They can be app-locking tools that can help the person lock Instagram for hours, forcing them to stay off it. Other tools people can use can help them finish their work on the platform faster, like the free Instagram post generator. Tools like that can help people come up with posts quicker and, by that, spend less time using the app.
Even though Instagram has many advantages, it also has equal disadvantages. Instagram addiction is a real problem facing most teenagers and young adults today. However, many things can be done to stop the addiction. The solution is mostly in the person’s hands, and seeking professional support can significantly affect how a person feels in the long term.