Instagram can ruin your mood and make you unhappy

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

But it's not like Facebook

For the first instance Instagram might seem much more peaceful and less harmful than other social networks. After all there are no negative status, political debates or personal opinions but just peaceful images of others.

Instagram has a calm environment where most people check photos in silence and like them without much noise but do you know that those peaceful images can actually ruin your mood and make you miserable?

The fact that Facebook and Instagram are different doesn't prevent the later from ruining your mood in its own unique way. In fact Instagram is much more problematic because most people don't realize the harmful effects unlike Facebook where people complain about its negativity all the time. See also why Facebook is negative.

Let's see what Instagram can do to your mood.

Why Instagram is very harmful

One of the most powerful and destructive emotions human beings experience is jealousy. Jealousy happens when a person finds that another person has something that he wants to have but can't get. Instagram takes jealousy to a new level because most people try to project certain identities that might be very different from who they are.

Most people on Instagram try to seem happy, beautiful, outgoing and satisfied with their lives. A person can be feeling sad yet posts an image that gives others the impression that he is living his life to the fullest. See also why Instagram got popular.

Now the ones who sees those images usually envy those happy people. And because everyone on Instagram seems happy a tremendous amount of jealousy can be felt.

In addition to this Instagram's filters enhance physical beauty to a great extent and as a result everybody seems more pretty all of a sudden except you! after all when a person sees a picture of someone his mind won't usually enter the analytical state and attribute a great part of that beauty to the filters but he will just feel less beautiful.

What's your worth?

And as if all that is not enough Instagram can actually ruin self worth if a person didn't manage to get enough followers. A typical person would consider the number of followers , at least on the unconscious level, an indication of worthiness.

If Sarah has 2000 followers and i only have 75 then this means that i am worthless. Or could it mean that Sarah is beautiful while i am ugly?

That's exactly how human logic works when a person uses Instagram. And because the majority of people don't have so many followers most people end up feeling bad after checking Instagram.

You might think that the fact that some people don't check the followers of others prevents them from feeling unhappy but that's not true. As soon as a person finds someone getting 100 likes on Instagram that person will automatically compare themselves to that popular person and feel bad.

If one of your friends gets many likes then you posted a photo and only got few ones then you might feel jealous and unhappy.

In short, Instagram ruins the mood as much as Facebook does but the fact that it does it in a different way makes the harmful effects less visible.

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