taking a selfie for instagram

Are you being CONNED by Instagram…

Is instagram making you miserable?

Ever looked with envy at someone’s seemingly perfect life on Instagram? Most of us have our favourites on Instagram – the perfect family which always seems so happy, the amazing home that never looks dirty or untidy or the woman who can do the most amazing yoga poses…

taking a selfie for instagram
Instagram perfection…

But people are beginning to question how healthy it is for followers and indeed the people who feel the need to continually post updates on their lives.

People often post a life they wish they had rather than the one they do,” said psychologist Emma Kenney to Fabulous magazine which recently took a look at the social networking site.  She was speaking out after a report by Oxford Univerity found that out of all the social media networks, Instagram made users feel worse about their lives.

Undoubtedly this is because Instagram presents peoples’ lives as perfect – making us feel as if we don’t match up – whereas the reality is many of the photos have been posed, photoshopped and taken simply for the site.

Other research has also found that people who are concerned about how others perceive them are most likely to post on Instagram – because they seek the approval and validation from others.

There is also a further concern with Instagram – that much of it is blatant advertising (albeit not flagged up as adverts.) Would the perfect family really wear the rather over warm jumpers if the company did not pay them to promote them? Does the yoga guru really live next to a beach where she is photographed daily in an incredible pose? Or were a bunch of poses taken while she was away for a few weeks – and she has posted one a day simply for her fans?

It is beginning to emerge much of what we see on Instagram is fake – but because it is mixed in with reality it is hard to identify. For example, the photo of a corner of the room cleared of the kid’s clutter – with the dirty dishes out of shot, the picture of the healthy meal (which omits the doughnut eaten after) and so on.

It is what has led a number of Instagrammers – who no doubt eventually feel pressurised by the need to keep on producing perfect photos – to leave the social media website.

Fabulous quotes on Darby Disneros, a former Instagrammer who had thousands of followers,  as saying: “It has opened the door to a lot of great discussions, like how we choose to present ourselves online, the insane lengths many of us go to create the perfect Instagram life, and calling into question our authenticity and motives.”

Indeed while Instagram is right on trend right now, it might be in the not so distant future it becomes more fashionable not to be on it at all.

Have you ditched any social media websites? Or would you like to talk about the pressure to keep up appearances on Instagram. Do contact me for inclusion in a possible feature.

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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