Instagram Mental Health Statistics 2022: The Harsh Reality

We all know Instagram as a photo/video-sharing social media platform with more than one billion monthly users.

Statistically, 32.9 percent of females and 28.3 percent of males between the ages of 16-24 favor Instagram as the best social media platform based on their likes and interests.

This article is not about Instagram’s statistics as a company, but the causes and side effects of the overuse of the social media platform.

According to the American Psychological Association statistics, major depression among adolescents (between 2005 and 2017) has increased by 52 percent during the last 12 months. 

The addiction center estimates that around 27 percent of teenagers who use social media platforms for more than three hours a day faces several psychological issues, including amplified suicidal thoughts. 

The institute further said that children and young adults are the most affected group since their social skills and brain activities are still in a developing stage.

They found that the young generation of frequent social media users has developed higher depression rates, negative body image issues, social anxiety when put in groups, lower empathy, compassion, etc., towards the people around them.

Many parents are worried about their kid’s stunted social interaction skills.

Psychological issues such as major depression, distress, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, etc., also increased among people compared to the past 10 years.

There was a 47 percent increase in suicide-related thoughts in young adults during 2008 and 2017. And older adults expressed depression and serious psychological distress during the corresponding periods.

We know that comments posted by other people can have a big impact, and that’s why we have recently invested heavily in new technology to help make Instagram a safe and supportive place.

Using machine learning technology, offensive comments on Instagram are now automatically blocked from appearing on people’s accounts.

We also give people a choice to turn off comments altogether or make their lists of banned words or emojis.” said Michelle Napchan, head of public policy for Instagram across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has locked many kids and young people in their homes, forcing them to spend significant time on social media.

Based on the Instagram mental health statistics, kids used social media platforms 76 percent longer from 2019 through 2020 compared to the previous years.

Now we shall go through some of the shocking statistics that will help us find out the other side of Instagram. 

Key Instagram Mental Health Statistics

  • 32% of girls admit that they felt bad about their bodies
  • 42% of youth reported cyberbullying on Instagram
  • 22% of youth has witnessed online bullying on Instagram
  • 7% of people have said that they faced bullying on Instagram
  • Instagram and Snapchat scored the lowest on 14 health-related questionnaire
  • Instagram is the most negative social media influencing platform
  • 43% of teens felt the pressure to post often to make them “look good.”
  • 14% of teen boys felt Instagram made them feel worse about themselves.
  • 15.80% of teen girls reported that they are facing sleep issues due to Instagram
  • 32.4% of teenage girls become bothered about their body image due to the Instagram

32% of girls admit that they felt bad about their bodies

Instagram, a photo and video sharing platform, contains several fashion models, influencers, and celebrities who put daily posts showcasing their “perfectly toned bodies” in every click.

According to the Instagram mental health statistics, about 32 percent of young girls feel that their natural body shape is not up to the mark compared to the edited versions of Instagram influencers.

They try to change their body size and shape by following unhealthy food and exercises, leading to physical health issues.

instagram mental health statistics - body dysmorphia

42% of youth reported cyberbullying on Instagram

Studies show that Instagram is the number one social media platform that causes negative effects on people. Based on the Instagram mental health statistics, 42 percent of the young generation has experienced cyberbullying on the Instagram platform, which Facebook follows with 37 percent and Snapchat with 31 percent.

Around 71 percent feel that social media platforms do not stop cyberbullying activities. Interestingly, only 10 percent of cyberbullying is reported on YouTube.

cyberbullying

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22% of youth has witnessed online bullying on Instagram

According to the reports and stats, almost 54% of teenagers who use social media platforms have said that they have witnessed bullying while on the platform.

About 39 percent of reports are based on Facebook, 29 percent from YouTube, and 22 percent from Twitter. According to Instagram mental health statistics, online bullying has become a serious threat to the mental growth of the younger generation.

7% of people have said that they faced bullying on Instagram

Adults are also affected by social media Cyberbullying. Stats says, 7 percent of adults users have faced bullying on Instagram while 6 percent from Facebook and 5 percent from Snapchat.

Twitter and Youtube are much safer than the rest of social media, with merely 2 percent of cyberbullying.

bullying on instagram

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A UK-based institute conducted a survey based on 1479 people aged 14-24. According to the survey, Instagram and Snapchat got the worst score based on the 14 health-related scenarios.

The scenarios include loneliness, bullying, body shaming, depression, anxiety, etc. People chose YouTube as the safest place compared to the rest of the social media applications. 

Based on the recent studies on mental health, it was found that Instagram got the lowest rank on the social media list of the most positive impacts. According to the stats, the survey participants said that YouTube positively impacts their mental health.

The five social media platforms are ranked as below :

  1. YouTube (the only social media platform with a positive net impact)
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Snapchat
  5. Instagram (most negative social media platform)

43% of teens felt the pressure to post often to make them “look good.”

The whole idea of Instagram photos and videos was to share people’s good/ bad moments with friends. They could post a photo of getting a new haircut, trying a variety of costumes, riding a horse, or a short vacation video.

The advanced filters on Instagram, smartphone camera techniques, etc., have made it easy to edit the photos to the next level.

However, the social media space has been inflicted by many bad influencers and content makers who create false standards in front of the young generation. Instagram mental health statistics show that about 43 percent of teenage students feel pressure to post their best-looking photos on Instagram.

In the process of displaying how good they look, they hide and filter out anything unsymmetric while clicking a photo. 

14% of teen boys felt Instagram made them feel worse about themselves.

Another major issue of the Instagram platform is comparison among profiles. Especially around 14 percent of teenagers have reported that Instagram makes them feel worse about their appearances and living styles.

The young generation always tries to compare themselves with celebrities. It is quite natural that they try to imitate their idols’ dressing style, hairstyle, fashion, fashion, and the showcased living style of their idols on Instagram.

However, such unhealthy comparisons dangerously affect their mental state. They might grow the thought that they will never achieve the physical body configurations of their favorite celebrity, and such thoughts can disturb their peace of mind.

15.80% of teen girls reported that they are facing sleep issues due to Instagram

Sleep is an important factor in the growing stage, just like healthy food. Studies show that adolescents must get adequate sleeping hours, not less than 7 hours at night.

Any changes in the sleep pattern directly impact their brain activities and can negatively affect their mental health. The teenagers will be curious to watch the flashy colors and music reels on Instagram for hours without thinking about their sleeping hours.

According to the Instagram mental health statistics,15.8 percent of teenage girls are subjected to sleep-related issues due to the over usage of Instagram.

They tend to prioritize another hour of Instagram chat time or surfing time instead of sleeping, reducing their quality sleeping hours.

According to a research study published in BMJ, about 70 percent of teens who use Instagram for about three to four hours fall asleep after 11 pm and wake up late.

The kids have also reported that they faced trouble falling to sleep during the night. The issue is comparatively less to the teenage boys, where 13.5 percent reported late night sleep and late waking hours due to Instagram usage.

Instagram mental health statistics

32.4% of teenage girls become bothered about their body image due to the Instagram

Instagram is a resume for many fashion celebrities and aspiring models. They post professionally edited photos to project their body configuration suitable for fashion shows and photoshoots.

However, such profiles are also followed by teenage girls who think that the lifestyle of those celebrities is the best indirectly start hating their physical appearance.

Instagram mental health statistics point towards 32.4 percent of teenage girls being bothered about their body image due to Instagram. 

10% of teenage girls said social comparison made them feel worse on Instagram

Naturally, teenagers compare themselves with people they know through social media and television. Around 10 percent of teenage girls said social comparison made them feel worse on Instagram.

Social comparison theory was first discussed in 1954 by famous psychologist Leon Festinger. According to the theory, people continuously compare their social conditions with others and force themselves to undergo evolution to blend in.

The current generation compares themselves with the social status of others through Instagram.

Instagram mental health statistics

9% of girls felt that their sadness became worse due to the usage of Instagram

Sadness is part of life, and it is completely natural to feel different moods. However, the continuous use of Instagram has made 9 percent of teenagers feel that their already existing sadness has become extreme.

Many factors can account for the sadness feeling caused by Instagram usage. Sometimes people in a sad state will search for sad music or related topics.

While watching and listening to such content on Instagram can amplify the intensity of sadness and affect people’s mental health.

However, another research among teenagers facing sadness and depression has found that the positive content in the photo-sharing platform has made 57 percent of the kids happy, and 34 percent of kids said it didn’t affect them at all.

6% of American teenage boys who had suicidal thoughts felt worse using Instagram.

According to a study among young adults and teenagers who faced suicidal thoughts, it was found that about 13 percent of UK-based Instagram users and 6 percent of Americans felt the urge to kill themselves more after using Instagram.

And about one percent of the Instagram users from the group who attended the survey said they had suicidal thoughts that they felt caused by Instagram usage.

However, on the other side, about 38 percent of teenage girls who had suicidal tendencies said that Instagram has made them feel much better, and they were able to overcome the thoughts of self-harm.

About 49 percent of the young adults who felt suicidal thoughts said Instagram didn’t make any impact on their thoughts.

Instagram mental health statistics

17% of women are affected by eating disorders caused by following Instagram 

The Facebook leaked research shows that 32 percent of teenage girls feel bad about their bodies due to the usage of Instagram.

Statistics prove that the younger generation is following a lot of so-called “fitness experts” and celebrities on the Instagram platform who offer free or paid coaching sessions to reduce food intake to cut body fat.

The shocking truth is, most of the Instagram fitness experts don’t have any professional expertise in training people to reduce body fat.

Social media has put a specific standard about what women should eat and how they should maintain their body structure to gain a good follower count and attention from other media users.

About 40 percent of Instagram users said that they felt their body is unattractive due to the comparison made with unrealistic photos and videos on the social media platform.

About 7.40 percent of men are also behind “fake experts” unrealistic food and diet plans on Instagram.

A study conducted in 2013 among high school girls who had Facebook accounts says they had more body image concerns than the rest who are not using any social media platform.

And teenage girls are more likely to follow unhealthy diets and living styles to become physically fit like their influencers.

instagram mental health statistics - eating disorders

14% of Instagram users have faced FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

According to the statistics, around 56 percent of the social media users in the world have FOMO. Almost 72 percent of Facebook users, 14 percent of Instagram users, and 11 percent of Twitter users are affected by FOMO.

About 39 percent of people with FOMO have felt envious, 30 percent faced jealousy, and 21 percent became sad or disappointed.

A study conducted among some students from a private Northeastern University found that about 64 percent of the students spend at least 30 minutes a day using Instagram. In comparison, 20 percent of students spend more than 90 minutes.

The survey asked students to fill out a questionnaire that evaluated students’ social media usage, personality, and FOMO level. Compared to men, women showed more interest in using the app, and they have more followers and following accounts.

Extraverts showed more interest in using Instagram and being active on the platform and had more likes and posts.

Other statistics reveal that people with high FOMO levels presented more Instagram activity, such as following many people on the platform.

Conclusion

Instagram mental health statistics - fomo

It is impossible to keep people away from Instagram or other social media.

Instagram mental health statistics point towards studies that found more disciplined and hard-working people don’t overuse social media accounts, yet they are active without major side effects.

So it is better to teach people how to use Instagram and how not to follow the harmful content on the platform.

Parents and teachers can help teenagers, and young adults create awareness sessions to point out the dark side of social media, especially Instagram.

It would be better if Instagram came forward to stop cyberbullying, unhealthy food diet promotions, anxiety-creating situations, etc.

Sources

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