Is Instagram good for you

Instagram - How Much Instagram is Good for You?

Actually, there are only pictures with labels. And yet: We love Instagram - and can hardly do without the app. More than a billion active users stage their lives via Instagram posts. There are hashtags for every time of day: #wokeuplikethis, #healthylunch, #eveningworkout and #nightout invite you to make Instagram a photo log of everything we do. It works: German young people spend around three hours a day on social networks. That's almost 46 days a year! The love for Instagram was even translated into a hashtag - #instalove adorns the signature of around 95 million images.

Is so much Instagram love actually harmful now or can it also be good for us? “Harmful!” Say the parents when they ask us to get away from the cell phone again. “Great”, say the many bloggers who earn money with Instagram. Advertising campaigns on Instagram profiles can make a fortune: Allegedly, fashion blogger Caro Daur earns more than one million euros annually with advertising on her channels.

Grandiose and dangerous

The Israeli-American bestselling author Nir Eyal explains in his book "Hooked - how you create products that are addicting" that the app can be terrific, but also dangerous. Instagram has managed to sneak into our everyday lives, according to Eyal. But for most of them it is not an addiction. An addiction would be compulsive. Then we couldn't stop, no matter how much we harm ourselves. According to the author, this applies to about one percent of Instagram users. “Instagram absolutely doesn't want addicts,” says the 38-year-old expert on the psychology of advertising. Because then we would have to stop using the app at some point - for health reasons.

Instagram wants us to make it a habit to open the app, watch Insta stories or post pictures ourselves. “Instagram fulfills a need that we have - you can imagine it like a little itch in our psyche,” explains Eyal. This can be a brief moment of loneliness, boredom or the fear of missing out on something. Instagram provides a remedy: Thanks to the app, we can briefly escape negative thoughts. Our brain is happy. The next time such thoughts arise, it will tell us, go on Instagram, now. And bang! The app gets used to it faster than we can write #instalove.

Reflection instead of renunciation

So that it doesn't become a bad habit, there is no need to radically renounce Insta. But we should reflect on our own Instagram usage - in order to make the app a good habit. Nir Eyal recommends the "Regret test" for this: Do we regret the time spent on Instagram? If the answer is yes, we need to change something. It's easy to find out where to start. Tracking apps like Moment and App-Detox monitor and log how we use our cell phone and certain apps. In this way, we find out what is robbing us of a lot of time - and how we can use apps like Instagram in a more meaningful and time-saving way.

What is bad for the ego has to go! Because if you constantly see perfect pictures of well-trained fitness bloggers, successful friends and great trips on Instagram, it can pull you down - because you have the feeling that you are inadequate.

Fortunately, with one click we can stop following such accounts. Instead, there are enough profiles blogging about health tips instead of fitness mania, interesting facts instead of the trivial and do-it-yourself ideas instead of fashion advertising. In the end, only one thing can influence whether Instagram is dangerous or good for us: we ourselves.

By Jacqueline Hadasch