Plugged In: Problematic Instagram Use and Negative Outcomes


May 5, 2021


Dr. Amy Prevost, Dr. Petra Jonas





Plugged In: Problematic Instagram Use and Negative Outcomes

Research on the negative outcomes of social media use have particularly focused on Facebook, with limited studies examining the relationship to Instagram use. This study explored the connection between Instagram use and six relevant themes related to overall well-being, including the potential for victimization. The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. For the quantitative component, surveys were distributed to undergraduate students at two Canadian Universities. The qualitative nature of the study consisted of two focus groups which were conducted at the University of the Fraser Valley. Each focus group consisted of nine participants who engaged in dialogue regarding the six preliminary themes identified from the survey data. The study revealed that Instagram use is correlated with escapism, frustration, fear of missing out, validation, anxiety, addiction, and vulnerability to cyber victimization. Consistent with other studies in this area, our results indicated that regular Instagram use has negative psychological outcomes for individual users. The research offers some important implications and recommendations for early education, increased awareness about the potential for victimization, and early intervention strategies.


Dr. Amy Prevost

Dr. Petra Jonas

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