Social media logins are at an all-time high. We post everything from our children's first steps to the sandwich we had for lunch. It can consume our focus and give us unnecessary anxiety. Yet there is also a lot to love about social media too.
The question remains, are all the drawbacks worth it, or should you just wash your hands of the whole thing? If you're questioning if you should delete Instagram, we've broken down the pros and cons of this social media site so that you can make the decision that's right for you.
5 Benefits of Deleting Instagram
Instagram is a fun space to scroll, but there can be a few issues with staying in this virtual space for too long. Here are some factors to consider.
1. It Makes Time Go By (Too Quickly)
When you are an Instagrammer, time slips away fast. It's easy to get sucked into other people's profiles (and receive way too much information about their lives). One profile leads to another… and another… and five more soon after. The more you check your profile, the more likely you are to get lost in this photographic world. Not having Instagram may free up a little bit of your time.
Research shows that habitual social media use can actually be addicting. One study notes that "the user becomes highly engaged with online activities motivated by an uncontrollable desire to browse through social media pages and 'devoting so much time and effort to it that it impairs other important life areas.'"
2. You Experience Life… Behind a Screen
Sunsets are beautiful, first steps are triumphant, and weddings are emotional. But, it's not the same experience when you see them from your iPhone rather than the real deal. You may have gotten the perfect shot, but did you actually pay attention to this memory so that you can add to your favorite mental files? Staying away from or at least reducing your Instagram use could help you be more present in daily life.
3. There Can Be Privacy Concerns
We don't always think about it, but when we post images online it can have an impact on our privacy. By sharing the wrong information and not having the right privacy settings established, you can actually put yourself in danger.
Many people don't realize that when geotagging is on and your profile is public, people can figure out your exact location. In rare instances, this can lead to the potential for stalking, kidnapping, and burglary. However, the more common threat is identity theft. While you may think that it will never happen to you, unfortunately, bad things can happen to good people.
Experian notes that as of 2021, phone scams are still the leading form of contact in identity fraud scams, but social media scams "led to a greater total financial loss than any other form of contact - $797 million." What is most notable is that social media scams brought in almost $100 million more in losses, with "only about a quarter of the number of complaints that phone scams."
4. It Can Lead to Constant Comparison
Instagram can be like high school on steroids. You need to be a master of the newest filters, and you want to be the most popular kid. The more likes and followers you have, the more likely you are to sit at the cool kid's table.
This quest for validation can make you feel more confident and loved. But it can also lead to feelings of anxiety and depression as well as cause issues with self-image. Many also note that they have experienced cyberbullying and mom-shaming on social media. These factors can be damaging to your mental health, making at least less use if not deleting worth considering.
5. Data Goes Down the Drain
We all know that no Wi-Fi equals dollar signs. When you're posting and editing photos, it sucks away your data more powerfully than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Mid-month, you're dealing with an additional charge with limited plans or slowed speeds if you have an unlimited plan.
5 Benefits of Keeping Instagram
While social media is not where you should spend all of your precious free time, it can bring some amazing benefits. Here are a few reasons why Instagram may be worthy of your device's storage space. Consider these positive factors about Instagram before you decide to shut down your account.
1. You Can Connect With Friends and Relatives From Afar
For many of us, Instagram is a way to connect - not with strangers, but with family members and friends who we no longer get to see on a regular basis. If your posting is not for the masses, but rather a way to stay attached to the people you care about, then Instagram is not the worst platform to have on your devices.
2. Instagram Gives You Unlimited Space to Store Your Photos
Almost any parents will agree that there is never enough space on your phone for the thousands of photos you will take of your children. Social media is a fantastic space to store these cherished memories without the worry of them suddenly disappearing because your toddler dropped your phone and your images weren't backed up to the cloud. For the people who constantly see that warning that their storage space is full, Instagram is a worthy solution.
3. Instagram Is Filled With Beneficial Content
When you subscribe to the right content, Instagram can actually be a solid space to find helpful life hacks. This is especially true for parents who are looking for advice on how to handle the many hurdles that they have to face in every stage of their child's life. It is also brimming with relatable commentary that can make you feel a little less alone in your daily struggles. #terribletwos
According to research scientists at Harvard, balance is key. A study on social media use and mental health showed "these findings suggest that as long as we are mindful users, routine use may not in itself be a problem. Indeed, it could be beneficial."
4. It's a Networking Platform for Many Individuals
For the folks who are starting their own business or trying to build their personal brand to help them in the job market, Instagram is a fantastic tool. With over 2 billion people on this platform, one good post can bring insta-success! Thus, some individuals may actually miss business opportunities by deleting this application.
If you use Instagram for a business or even a side gig, it can be a good choice. According to Sprout Social, 70% of shoppers look at Instagram for their next purchase, and following and researching brands is the second-highest use of the platform.
5. It Can Help You Be More Altruistic
Instagram might just make you a kinder, more charitable person too. According to a study mentioned in the Journal of Businesss Research, average and heavy Instagram users were found to have more gratitude, be more altruistic, and have a greater willingness to donate than light Instagram users. The platform itself, according to the study, encourages people to share content that triggers positive emotions.
Decide If an Insta Shut Down is Right For You
Should I delete Instagram? At the end of the day, the answer to this question lies in another - is the value you receive from Instagram paying off? For those who are feeling that their mental health is being drained or that they are losing large sections of their day, you may benefit from deleting your Instagram, or at least taking a few steps back from it. However, for some, this platform can bring real benefits and deleting it could be a mistake.
It's ok if you don't have an Instagram account. And it's ok for you to keep it and enjoy it. Having balance can be really beneficial when it comes to social media rather than going all in or all out. Decide what is best for you, and only you. That's all that really matters.