The change that the rise of social media introduced affected many aspects of the human species. There are ongoing studies which follow the effects of how social media content induces different emotional responses in people. While some feel indifferent or even repelled from anything that has to do with this sort of content, the majority of others are intoxicated and in a way addicted.
When you find yourself opening your favourite social media site more often than anything else on your digital device, chances are that you are also entranced and captivated by the prospects it brings along with it. Our focus in this analysis is Instagram.
The media content based social network with hundreds of million active daily users. This interest for it isn’t surprising at all. Images and videos attract more attention thanks to the universally understandable visual medium which they use to pass the meaning of the content being shown.
The things that make Instagram special
You may wonder how can anyone spend so much of their precious time browsing content posted by strangers. Well, the world has become a smaller place with the recent technological advances and all of those revolutionising inventions seem to connect people in new and different ways than before.
The effectiveness of such practice has brought people and families spread across the globe together. Humans are by nature social beings. From our humble tribal beginnings, we always lived in groups which were organised with some sort of hierarchy which kept us alive and safe from danger.
Today we all live in well organised and civilised societies and there are no more apparent dangers to distract us from advancing ourselves. The communication technology has joined the whole world population into one big globe-spanning community. The appeals of social networks lay in the ability to instantly view and receive information from all across the globe.
They connect strangers of different races, religion, political and philosophical beliefs with ease. Instagram is a social media success because humans interpret visual stimuli much easier. The graphical information has a universal meaning and its content is smaller in scope and easier to understand and grasp in the shortest amounts of time.
The posts on Instagram are mostly picture based. There are videos which are posted too, however, the interest rates for them is significantly lower. Instagram started as a picture sharing platform at first, which in a sense, it still is. The biggest image based content network in the world which introduces social network features at the same time.
Users post their media which does or doesn’t have a connection with their lives in some way and other people, who are following them, can interact with that information in various ways. Commenting and liking are the usual forms of communication and believe it or not – most of the interactions happen between the followers.
The user who is being followed cannot possibly keep up with hundreds of thousand or even millions of its followers so they interact among themselves most of the time.This is the social element. It is also a specific psychological state which keeps users coming back for more and we will explore such occurrences even further.
Viewing pictures and images posted by complete strangers and coming back for more
While this may sound irrational at first there is a common sense hidden in some way. Subconsciously we still do not mind or question details once we attain useful information even though we acknowledge that the source of it is unknown to us. We simply do not care as long as the information is valid and seems sound.
Users on Instagram have their profile pages where they share media content with their followers. Followers in turn view and access all of that information at will. They interact with “likes, comments, messages and shares”. This may seem familiar since it is a pattern universally used by almost every other social media network.
It is what keeps people coming back for more. Viewing pictures from complete strangers creates bonds which attract people and places them into a comfort zone.
By sharing details from their daily lives, profile owners connect in a way with their followers who acknowledge the similarity between them and the person whose profiles they follow on Instagram. Many new emotional bonds are made this way and this is a very positive aspect of all social media.
So, what happens when a long-lasting bond between the profile owner and the follower gets disrupted? The thing which occurs at first is self – questioning. Guilt, anguish and remorse encompass the person. Anger follows suite. Questioning relates to getting back to the content the follower has been blocked access to and removed from.
There is an easy way to overcome this state by going to specialised online services which remove viewing limit to followers who’ve been blocked from accessing private profiles and pictures. Now, let’s go deeper to find out what makes a “blocked” person want to view hidden Instagram photos from the same person who restricted their access to them in the first place.
Looking deeper into the social media angst by renounced followers
A human mind is a wonderful tool. It offers limitless possibilities both for positive and negative thought interactions. When a person gets restricted to viewing content which they had unrestricted access to – they soon place guilt on the owner of the content. This is a normal reaction since each individual exerts their self-defense mechanism in order to preserve their mental integrity.
They find excuses and reasons which build a sort of a “wall” between their strict and limited views and the common sense and logic which explains the consequences of their actions. They enter a loop which encapsulates them in an enslaved mindset which is difficult to overcome. The only way to get out of such a state is to regain access to that which is taken away from them or to come to the terms of the new state as it being final.
The best thing about Instagram and other social networks is that they keep on evolving and changing both for the better and the worse. With those changes, their users adapt and also change. Their mindsets and brain chemistry gets affected and we are certain that all kinds of different behaviour will manifest as the product of long – term use.
We feel that there are mostly positive influences that are exerted on social media users which outweigh the possible consequences. It is an exciting age we are living in and we are eager to see where the future content will lead the humanity and how it will affect its behavioural patterns.