What The Internet Doesn’t Want You Know About Instagram


Calista Freeland, Writer

FaceTune, models, advertisements, and insecurities. What could all of these concepts possibly have in common? If you were born in the 21st century, you probably answered Instagram. Instagram is a free, online social network platform where users can share photos and connect with others. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars. Since then, it was estimated that it is worth over 100 billion (if it was a standalone company) as of 2019. How does a social media site appeal to over 1 billion monthly active users? We asked Righetti students their opinions on the controversial matter:

“Instagram is pretty cool. It allows me to get to know people even better and share what I do outside of school.” -William Luton¬†

“Instagram can be a place to express creativity but at the same time, it gives a sort of ideal type of way someone should look. With young people, they feel as if they should compare themselves to other people.”-anonymous¬†

Instagram makes people feel bad about themselves if they see someone who is super pretty and they may feel less confident about themselves.“- Angel Rae Govea

Instagram is a part of many teens’ daily lives. With the human need to socialize and see what others are doing, Instagram can allow people to conform to society and the pressure of others. They may change themselves and what they are doing to match other people. This thought process is in our blood. New studies show that primates also suffer from peer pressure, especially in their teenage years.

FaceTune is one of the most prevalent expressions of peer pressure and a lack of self-confidence that can be found on Instagram. Facetune is a $3.99 app that allows users to drastically edit their faces and bodies into completely different people. From there, they can download their newly edited photos onto their phones and upload it onto Instagram. This can be more detrimental than you might think. What happens when you look back on family memories and realize that they are completely altered? Imagine when you look back at your old photos and the person in them isn’t actually you, but a highly edited and unrealistic version of yourself. Sierra Schultzzie, a body-positive influencer and Youtuber says, “Looking at these photos, it makes me sad…sad that all of my memories from this period are kind of tainted, that this isn’t what I looked like at all…I look at those photos and I hardly feel like the girl in these highly edited photos from five years ago.”

Instagram can be both a positive and negative influence on people, especially young people. As someone who is an active daily user of Instagram myself, I feel that many of the benefits of social media are overlooked because of the amount of deception and unrealistic ideals that come with it. When I scroll through the feed, sometimes I forget that many of the photos are completely altered. However, I also see positive things that come from Instagram too. Spreading awareness for disabilities, acceptance and different positive organizations can be a useful and influential part of Instagram. People who would otherwise be ignored and charities that do not receive the recognition they need to realize their mission are all given a chance for success through Instagram. If you would like to see a list of nonprofits that are a positive part of Instagram, https://www.classy.org/blog/10-amazing-nonprofits-to-follow-on-instagram/ is a great resource.

Another positive effect, as many of the students interviewed mentioned, was that Instagram allows people to be creative and make new positive connections. Having an outlet to express themselves can promote well-being for teens. With the pressure and stress of school weighing down on many, having Instagram as a break from these struggles can allow them to have a more positive outlook.

Whether you see Instagram as a positive or a negative, it is apparent that the influence it has will continue for many more years to come. What do you think about Instagram?