Psychology of Why Instagram Is Addictive

“The reason some apps are addictive is that most companies first ask themselves how they can make money with them — but ethical app development focuses on the user,” argued Mezyk. According to Mezyk, the potential for addiction is considerably heightened when we use “painkiller apps” rather than “supplement apps”. Several ex-employees of Apple, Google and Facebook have warned that large tech companies deliberately design apps to be addictive. According to Eyal, the addictive nature of Instagram is no mistake, either—founder Kevin Systrom majored in symbolic systems at Stanford, a mix of psychology and computer science. Considering the fact that nearly a third of people have done something simply to post about it online, we’d say he knew what he was doing.

instagram addict

Our response writer community is thriving, and we want you to be a part of it! Your work will be featured on our homepage, newsletter, and Instagram feed. Plus, you’ll be compensated by alcoholism and the blame cycle HQ at $10/response for your first 10 articles. I was sacrificing making my own memories to create content for a platform ― and, in many cases, followers ― that didn’t care about me.

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But I was petrified that if I didn’t play the Instagram game and I didn’t “up” my level of visual content, I would be left behind. “Social media companies have created their apps with all the qualities the risks of mixing alcohol and summer heat of an addictive drug,” he explains. This is when our bodies are in fight or flight mode, swamped by cortisol which makes us feel jittery and anxious and ready to run away from an attacking lion…

instagram addict

We are almost always never forward with our intentions with others. It shouldn’t be a common thing for people to try and decipher texts with the help of friends or, in other cases, with the help from people on the internet. It definitely had date qualities, but at no point was the word “date” used by anyone. So, I asked myself, “How would you travel if Instagram didn’t exist?

Millennial addiction to the app

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  • More times than I care to admit, I’ve flicked through different filters, carefully analyzing which hue suits me the best and recoiling in horror at the ones that give me Bratz doll lips.
  • Or maybe you prefer your brands chatty, unscripted, and “authentic.” That’s what Stories—Instagram’s Snapchat-esque feature for disappearing photos and videos—is for.
  • It made my adventures more interactive, and I got feedback and tips about the places I was visiting.
  • So, I asked myself, “How would you travel if Instagram didn’t exist?

And I don’t think I have met someone yet that’s truly been interested in me for me. I woke up on the morning of June 3rd to my father relaying to be the worst nightmare of my life. When he said we need to talk, its like my body knew exactly what he was going to say. The night before as I was driving home I thought about my mom. And its not like I never think about her, but just driving home her name popped up in my head. There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone.

Why is Instagram So Addictive? Let’s Find Out

The issue is that all those ‘quick looks’ at apps like Instagram are disrupting your normal cortisol levels, causing constant floods of the hormone into your body and brain. I saw a friend was on her way home after spending six months in Hong Kong, checked out a funny Prince George meme and saw some beach snaps an ex had posted. Sure, it’s brought like-minded people together for good causes like #bodypositivity and has empowered a host of women to become self-made millionaire ‘influencers’. Of the app’s estimated one billion global users, more than half are below the age of 34.

It made my adventures more interactive, and I got feedback and tips about the places I was visiting. Plus it was a great way to stay in contact with my friends and family at home. It was mostly fun and games for the first year, then the platform slowly but increasingly became a way for me to critique and judge myself. Two years ago, I quit my real estate career, sold my house and got rid of 90 percent of my belongings so I could travel the world full time. I decided to sacrifice my comfort and knowledge of the familiar so I could become a travel writer and experience what I imagined would be a life of adventure and exploration.

Instagram represents a PR coup for Facebook, too, as the photo app has managed to avoid most of the misinformation and data privacy pitfalls that have dogged Facebook. According to a 2019 poll by Pew Research Center, just 29% of Americans correctly identified Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp as being owned by Facebook. Either way, the $1 billion Zuckerberg spent to buy Instagram in 2012 was money well spent. Social media has always been extremely addictive, both physically and psychologically, but the question is why? Although many people try convincing themselves that Instagram is used for simply capturing and sharing the moment, the app is much more complex and interactive than that.

Behavioral modification doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing; apps can help us to become more productive or to do more exercise. Whether an action takes place also depends on the trigger. It’s the trigger that pulls us into the app, like our phone vibrating or the screen lighting up with a new message. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

They are sweating, stressed, tired and completely blind to the very thing they are trying to get a picture of. I originally started featuring my travels on Instagram how to heal your liver after alcoholism as a way of documenting my journey. It was better than a travel journal because it was visual and because engagement with other people was built in.

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Since then, my husband and I have visited Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East, documenting every step of our journey. There’s more bad news for those of us who are vulnerable, as apps like Instagram don’t give our cortisol levels time to settle. So to find out what’s really going on beneath my skin, I head to Swansea University where Phil Reed, professor of psychology has been studying the impact of social media on the body. It’s for this reason that critics have accused the likes of Facebook and Instagram of deliberately designing their apps in a way that makes them addictive — behavioral design comes into play here. Americans check their phones 262 times a day on average.

After so many wasted months, I finally knew I had to do something. I was done putting my time and energy into ― and risking my mental health for ― something as trivial as a feed full of photos. Soon, I not only started posting less but I became virtually paralyzed by my Instagram anxiety.

Netsafety Week — keeping Kiwis safe online with a new online safety code and new Instagram safety…

That’s hardly surprising when you consider that59 per cent of teens who use the app say they’ve been bullied online. My desperation to see what people were up to, my need for any information going, was having a profound effect on my body. Viewers saw Buzz Aldrin’s heart rate log in at a mere 88bpm as he was catapulted to the moon.

You will need a support system to break your Instagram dependency; that support can be your friend or sibling’s who desire to overcome it. So sit with them and make a plan to detox social media addiction. Not so long ago, the idea of a star or social media celebrity’s career was unthinkable.

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