We’ve been questioning the same thing for years: Is Instagram bad for mental health? Between the need for likes and a verified status—plus the picture-perfect influencers we hold on a pedestal—it’s next to impossible not to feel somewhat inadequate while doom scrolling.

Chris Barry.

“Attaching our self-worth to how we think we compare to others who post on social media is also problematic,” says Dr. Chris Barry, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University. “Instead, using social media to connect with others or to keep up with news or topics of interest seem to be more adaptive in terms of well-being.”

Instagram users of all ages have felt some type of anxiety at one point or another whilst using the app. The picture-perfect presentation with engagement reveals, vacation stories, and job updates can be enough to make someone crack. What’s meant to be a fun, accessible way to connect with people has turned into a grand competition that’s led to feelings of deficiency, jealousy, FOMO and so much more.

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My Imperfect Life