Instagram Envy Is Real

In this day and age Instagram Envy is a very real thing. When people go on social media they look to see what others are doing, and they can become obsessed with a life that isn’t their own. Whether the obsession becomes as drastic as stalking another person or simply having on-post notifications, people are constantly staying updated on the lives of others through social media.

The idea of “Instagram Envy” has been created in recent years. As social media’s influence began to grow, Instagram appeared as one of the Titans. With over one billion people using Instagram, its influence is massive and is only continuing to grow. One big impact that Instagram has had is the creation of what many millennials refer to as “influencers.” Influencers are people who have gained a significant following on Instagram, so they have significant influence over their followers. These influencers typically have millions of followers and they post all throughout the day to keep their fans updated. The biggest problem with Instagram influencers is the fact that many people now want to become an influencer. This desire leads to significant jealousy and “Instagram Envy ” when someone wants nothing more then to be exactly like their favorite influencer. These influencers are idolized and viewed as special people, when in reality they are just normal people with phones. The influencers live their lives and post about it, and they happen to have a group of people interested in following their day to day activities. Many people have become so envious of these influencers that they will do anything to become one themselves. Many people constantly comment on heavily followed Instagram accounts writing things such as “I’m an up and coming influencer. Please come check me out”. Others have taken an even more drastic route by going on reality TV shows, such as the Bachelor, just to gain a following for themselves. This desire to become an influence creates a toxic community where no one is truly themselves. 

Another big cause of Instragram envy is the idea of likes. On Instagram when a photo is posted other users can choose whether or not they want to like the picture, and in this day and age likes are everything. People have become dependent on likes for a feeling of self gratification. People believe that if their post gets over five hundred likes then that must mean that they are liked by others. However, this is not the case at all. Likes are nothing but a simple pressing of a button, and this simple action has become to mean so much more. People have begun to have Instagram Envy over likes when they see a post with more likes then their own. This makes them self conscious and they start to wonder whether people really like them or not. Jealousy constantly arises due to likes with people posting and then reposting pictures based off of whether or not it got enough likes. 

Instagram has tried many alternatives in order to solve this problem. Last month Instagram experimented with the idea of a platform where likes can not be viewed by followers. Only the person who owns the account will be able to see the amount of likes, and this way they will be less self conscious about the amount of likes they received. Believe it or not, Instagram actually received a lot of backlash for this decision since many enjoy the feature of likes. They believe that likes are a crucial part of Instagram, and that the separation of popularity on the app is actually needed in order for Instagram to be successful. This is a very controversial standpoint since Instagram is living in a time in which social media has the ability to severely affect lives. Although Instagram has made efforts to get rid of this culture of Instagram Envy, they have not made any real changes. After receiving backlash for getting rid of likes, the app has reinstated likes and has not announced any future plans for solving this problem.