Instagram is one of the top social media apps of our time, with the platform reaching 1 billion active monthly users last year. What is interesting to note, however, is that 71% of these users are under the age of 35. That means that Instagram has millions and millions of young users, with many of them being teenagers. I know I’m not the only one that understands how the teenage years can be some of the most difficult, in terms of mental health and self-image, and Instagram and social media have a huge impact on these developmental years. Spending too much time on Instagram, or any sort of social media platform, can make people obsess over exaggerated and unrealistic body sizes or even negative comments, which in turn can affect how they view themselves. And if you think that dealing with Instagram as a teen is tough, imagine dealing with it as a celebrity. Not only is your whole life in the spotlight of social media as a celebrity, but every detail of your image, actions, family, and so much more can be picked at and attacked by thousands of anonymous users within minutes. Or, at least, that’s what Selena Gomez feels.
Gomez revealed this week that she deleted the Instagram app from her phone entirely—not something you would expect from someone with one of the most followed Instagram accounts in the world. Gomez, however, said that too many negative comments were making her feel depressed and were making her feel self-conscious about her body. Interestingly, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri thinks that Gomez’s feelings don’t hold true to the average user who doesn’t have millions of followers.
It is here that I will have to disagree with Mosseri. As I mentioned earlier, too much time on Instagram can be dangerous for anyone, regardless of how big or small their account is. The hate that users can encounter exists at any point in time and trying to live one’s life up to the falsified standards that are common on Instagram can quite easily lead to an unhealthy mind set. While some, like Gomez, choose to delete the app to solve this problem, it can be as easy as taking a break from social media for a couple hours a day.