Mummy: Is Instagram affecting your wellbeing?

Instagram, established in 2010, has become one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Every day, millions of users share pictures and videos of their lives but as an Instagrammer have you ever stopped to think about what you’re seeing and how it makes you feel?

Recent research suggests Instagram is the most damaging social media site for the wellbeing of teenagers and young adults. The Royal Society for Public Health (UK) found that its use increases feelings of anxiety and depression as well as affecting body image. Although it can also be a space for self-expression and building online communities, such negative results raise some worrying questions. Is Instagram making us put pressure on ourselves? Are we comparing ourselves to others too often? And could this be affecting our wellbeing as Mothers?

Whether we follow just our friends and family, celebrities or Mothers who dedicate their profiles to their family lives, we can all find ourselves wondering how we match up. Research approved by Sheffield Hallam University is now asking the question of whether Instagram use has an impact on the wellbeing of Mums with children under 5. Speaking to master’s student and developer of the study, Mara Moujaes said:

“We’ve already seen that Instagram has an impact on young people’s wellbeing. Now is the time to ask whether this is the case with Mothers who use the platform. Mums do so much for themselves and their families everyday yet can come under pressure to display an unrealistic, perfect lifestyle. My hope for this research is that women take part, feel represented and have their voices heard. Social media has become a big part of all of our lives and it’s time we truly consider how it affects us and those we love.”

The study will be open for women to take part online until June 2018 and can be accessed here.

The results will be reviewed, and recommendations made on how to support any women who feel affected by the pressures of Instagram. If you’re interested and want to know more, get in contact with the researcher via Instagram @2moumar or email b7040211@my.shu.ac.uk.