Photo by Nuraisyah on Instagram
Instagram can be very influential to young adults in positive and negative ways, as it takes up most of our free time. You may find some people having two different personalities when comparing them in real life versus their online selves. This is mostly due to the online platform eliminating face-to-face communication, unlike real life interactions.
So, how does Instagram change one’s personality? Based on my findings via a poll on Instagram, a majority of respondents agreed that individuals raise their self-esteem by receiving compliments on their posts or Instagram stories. Some people may feel insecure about themselves before posting content, but would feel better when another person gives them a compliment. With this feel-good emotion in mind, some people would share an unrealistic altered photo of themselves just to receive more compliments and praise. Although this method does raise their confidence, it is ultimately not their ‘true selves’.
Meanwhile, a minor amount of respondents agreed that one’s confidence can be lowered by comparing themselves with other people on Instagram. Many people tend to compare themselves to famous ‘influencers’ and celebrities they idolize. However, that only makes them feel more pressured by their own expectations. Comparing themselves to others only makes their insecurities kick in, which could then cause them to question themselves on what they’re lacking appearance-wise. The recurring question of “Why don’t I look like that?” or “Why don’t I have that?” will be repeatedly questioned on a daily basis. This may cause them to copy the fashion styles of people they look up to. Ultimately, they would turn themselves into someone completely different, instead of improving themselves to be better or trying to raise their own self-esteem.
Photo by Nuraisyah on Instagram
Some people also tend to conceal their personalities when they’re on Instagram. From what I gathered, most of the respondents agreed that introverted people may have a directly-opposing personality online. Some people tend to feel shy and insecure when communicating face-to-face with others, but feel more comfortable when communicating through an online platform like Instagram, since face-to-face verbal communication isn’t required. Due to this, they are able to unleash their full personalities online filled without exhausting their “social battery”. But at the end of the day, they would still remain an introvert when communicating in real life.
Unfortunately, there are people who promote themselves as positive and kind online, but have contrasting personalities in real life interactions. In order to maintain their image, some may pretend to be friendly by changing their tone completely on Instagram. As a result, their followers would ultimately think that this was their personality in real life, thus continuing to follow and support them without realizing the truth. This would also cause the person changing themselves online to slowly develop different versions of themselves without realization.
Besides that, Instagram may also make an individual limit their self-expression. Based on my survey, the majority of respondents said that people tend to control their expressions on Instagram. The reason being that they are afraid of being judged by others. Everyone has their own opinions, but there are also those who are not as open. When someone speaks out and gives their opinion, some people may interpret it in a wrong way. This could result in cyberbullying and cause some Instagram users to blindly follow what the majority agrees with and keep their opinions to themselves.
All in all, there are both pros and cons for people changing their personality. Instagram can be a platform that makes them more confident in real life, but they potentially could dissociate themselves without self-realization. They could get confused with the personalities they portray on Instagram and in real life. Young adults shouldn’t feel pressured to be like other people, and should learn to be accepting towards themselves. Instagram can act as a platform for them to express themselves, by posting whatever they want without being afraid of judgment. In the end, being comfortable in our own skin is what matters the most.
By: Nuraisyah Azmi