In a generation consumed by FOMO, not being able to share pictures from your trip to Hawaii or catch up on the whereabouts of your favorite celebrities might seem inconceivable. In the recent years since apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have dominated social circles and life in general, the question is often posed, “If it isn’t on Instagram, did it even happen?”
But what happens when these apps turn on you? Recently, stars like Daisy Ridley, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Pink have parted ways from Instagram in particular due to censorship issues and cyberbullying.
We all know this type of harassment isn’t limited to Hollywood, so should you be opting out as well? According to some celebs and professionals, you definitely should.
Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley talked to Time about her departure, saying, “I felt a pressure being on it, it was like I needed to post… I have a lot of growing up to do. I have to deal with loads of personal stuff myself personally. For that to be projected with millions of people watching, that is a bit of like extra pressure.”
This added pressure to maintain a specific image on Instagram also affected former Instagram-based model Essena O’Neill before she also deleted her account this year because of its “contrived perfection made to get attention.”
Dr. Pamela B. Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center at Fielding Graduate University, shared her findings with Elle.
“We focus on the things that we’re most concerned with, whether that’s the perception of a physical fault such as ‘my lips look too thin,’ or a temporary one like ‘does my sunburn show underneath my makeup?’ We tend to be much harder on ourselves than others are on us. Whereas others take in an image holistically, noticing expressions of emotion and mood such as a smile, we are scrutinizing the minor details.”
Personally, my friends and I go to great lengths to get the perfect shot for the ‘gram. But isn’t Facebook and Twitter just as demeaning? In comparison to Facebook, Hanna Krasnova of Humboldt University Berlin reports, “A photo can very powerfully provoke immediate social comparison, and that can trigger feelings of inferiority. You don’t envy a news story.”
Social media allows me to organize and expand my interests as well as help me build my career and relationships, but I often feel crippled by its effects. I am not a person to be upset if a “bad” photo is posted of me but I do admit to spending time editing a picture for the likes. I am, however, a firm believer in taking breaks from social media so that once I return I have a clear head and a load of confidence.