Living with Instagram Anxiety: How to Cope
It’s no secret that social media has changed the way we interact with one another, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. Instagram, in particular, can be a source of great stress and anxiety. Whether it’s trying to make sure your profile is perfect or trying to maintain a certain level of ‘likes’, it can be incredibly difficult to keep up with the Joneses. But don’t worry! There are plenty of effective ways to cope with Instagram anxiety. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and strategies to help you deal with it on a daily basis!
1. Introduction to Instagram Anxiety
Instagram Anxiety is a modern problem caused by obsessive use of social media, particularly Instagram. People with Instagram Anxiety feel like they can’t live without it, and they suffer from the mental and physical toll it takes on them.
This form of anxiety can manifest itself in different ways in different people. Some of the most common symptoms are constant worrying about what other people are saying about them online, always seeking validation through their posts, and being easily upset by negative attention.
For those who are suffering from Instagram Anxiety, here are some tips on how to cope:
- Set boundaries: You don’t have to be active all the time. Set aside specific times during the day where you can take a break from it.
- Limit your use: Don’t spend the whole day on social media. Try to limit yourself to an hour or so.
- Be mindful: Remember that the number of followers or likes you have isn’t indicative of your worth. Focus on your own goals and plans.
2. Common Symptoms of Instagram Anxiety
Impulsive Checking – Many people suffering from Instagram Anxiety experience an impulse to constantly check their account to make sure they are not missing out on anything. It can become an obsession, and can lead to feeling distressed and overwhelmed after spending a lot of time scrolling through their feed.
Constant Comparison – Seeing other peoples posts can be both inspiring and distressing. Comparing yourself to peers can be taken to an extreme with people feeling inadequate due to their own life’s accomplishments and lifestyle in comparison to what they perceive from others on Instagram. This feeling can cause extreme anxiety that can be difficult to snap out of.
- Abnormal Habits
- Low Confidence
- Sleep Disturbance
Insecurity - With many people on Instagram having seemingly ‘perfect lives’, a significant amount of insecurity can be experienced by those who are struggling to manage their Instagram Anxiety. It is important to understand that Instagram accounts often only show the highlights, and that real life is far less glamorous and perfect.
Abnormal Habits – People who suffer from Instagram Anxiety can often develop abnormal habits such as oversharing, constantly editing their posts, or spending an excessive amount of time trying to craft ‘perfect’ posts. It is important to take a step back and take a break from social media if necessary.
Low Confidence – Scrolling through an endless sea of seemingly perfect faces and seemingly perfect lives can have a grave effect on someone’s confidence. This can manifest in various forms such as self-doubt, social anxiety and lowered self-esteem.
Sleep Disturbance - Spending a lot of time on Instagram or taking an excessive amount of time to craft ‘perfect’ posts can take away a lot of time that could be spent sleeping. This can lead to negative effects on the user’s wellbeing such as fatigue and lack of energy.
3. Understanding the Cause of Instagram Anxiety
The cause of Instagram anxiety can differ from person to person, so it is important to understand what triggers your anxiety in order to learn how to manage it.
1. Social Comparisons. Social media can pressure you to constantly compare yourself to other users, which can cause a feeling of anxiety if you are unsatisfied with how you measure up.
2. Fear of Missing Out. This type of anxiety can arise from fear of not being included in the Instagram community or missing out on something that everyone else is doing.
3. Need for Approval. This may come from wanting people to like or follow your posts, or from having the belief that anyone who does not comment on your posts is uninterested in what you have to say.
These are just some of the possible root causes of Instagram anxiety, but understanding your own triggers can help you cope with anxiety in the future.
- Focus on yourself and not what other people are doing.
- Take a break from using Instagram.
- Know that it’s OK to not be great at everything.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself.
4. Strategies for Overcoming Instagram Anxiety
1. Stay Connected to Support: Speaking with friends, family, and even experts on Instagram depression can be effective in managing the condition. Talking about anxiety related to the use of Instagram can be a beneficial form of self-care. Just like any learning experience, it’s important for one to have a support system to be successful.
2. Practicing Self-Compassion: Putting all the criticisms and assumptions in perspective is an important strategy for tackling Instagram anxiety. Senior journalist and certified life coach, Nina Bahadur, suggests “practicing self-compassion, allowing yourself to feel your emotions without judgment and understanding the nature of the anxiety.”
3. Identifying Triggers: An important way to combat Instagram anxiety is by recognizing what causes it and developing strategies to manage it. Whether it’s the constant comparison of others, a photo receiving negative comments, or feeling overwhelmed by the social media newsfeed, identifying the triggers can help one develop a plan to manage the anxiety.
4. Managing Time on Instagram: It’s important to set boundaries on the amount of time spent on Instagram. This can include setting a daily limit on the number of hours spent on the platform or only logging in once every few days. This will help limit the number of triggers one is exposed to and reduce any fear of missing out.
5. Experiment with Different Approaches: Finally, it’s important for users to experiment with different approaches in order to get a better understanding of their anxiety triggers. If one trigger isn’t working, try another. Identifying what strategies help to manage the anxiety can be an important step in dealing with Instagram anxiety.
5. Wrap Up: Coping with Instagram Anxiety
Are you feeling the pressure to keep up with all the happenings of your favourite Instagram accounts? You’re not alone, as some social media users are feeling the pressure and anxiety that comes with trying to “keep up” or “not lose out” on the constant rapid pace of the platform. But don’t worry, here are some tips to help you cope with this social media anxiety.
- Take a break: Sometimes it’s really best to step away from your phone and devices when the pressure becomes too intense. Spend some time away from the app and change up your environment. Do something to relax or take a break from the social world.
- Photo Reframe: Acknowledge that every photo presented on the app isn’t necessarily accurate or real life. Take a look at the photo and give yourself a more realistic perspective of what it could be.
- Make realistic expectations: Be honest with yourself and make goals that are realistic. Don’t measure your own success against those you follow or compare yourself to those you see on the platform.
- Limit your time: Make sure you limit the time and energy you spend on Instagram. When it consumes too much of your time, it’s time to prioritize more important things in your life.
- Connect: It’s equally important to connect with the real people in your life and build meaningful relationships. That way, you can take a break from the virtual world, and focus on your social and physical connections.
These are just some of the ways you can look at to cope with your Instagram anxiety. Make sure you take some time for yourself and realise that the things you see on social media are not necessarily a real reflection of reality.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Instagram anxiety, know that you are not alone! Dealing with this type of anxiety can be tough, but it is possible to take steps to move forward in a healthier direction. With the right techniques and a bit of self-care, you can reclaim your relationship with Instagram and better manage your anxiety.