Inquiry Project Post #3: The motive behind Instagram users?!

QUICK NOTE: I changed my research topic to Instagram and its impact on society so it is no longer in relation to whatever individuals posted in the comments below)


I am studying social media but more specifically Instagram and its impact on society because i want to know what the motives behind Instagram users and other social medias uers are. I want to know how Instagram has both positively and negatively impacted society. I want my readers to realize that social media can actually be an illusion and each and every one of us may be living in it as well. 


Research Question:What are the underlying motives behind Instagram users and how has Instagram impacted society?

An article that perfectly relates to my research question is The Lane Anderson’s, Instagram effect: How the psychology of envy drives consumerism, again, talking about social media, this article would blend perfectly because it relates to my inquiry post 1and how Instagram seems to be more about pleasing others rather than pleasing one self, which contributes to limiting our world. Why this article is so interesting to me because envy is negative but that envy helps businesses grow which helps stimulate the economy, I often wonder if Instagram envy is worth the profit among businesses if it means that individuals are portraying a false life.

Another article: In Jodie Gummow’s, “7 Telltale Signs Social Media Is Killing Your Self-Esteem”, the author delves into the psychological and sociological impact of social media. Something that once seemed like a simple connection with friends and family is turning into a low self-confidence issue, which is seen especially in youth. Throughout the article, the author points out that social media is sort of a fantasy world and we often think that individuals are having the time of their life when really, the photos that we see is only a snapshot of reality that could even be hiding a deeper message. What this reminds me of is Ted Nelson’s books Computer lib/Dream Machines and how social media is sort of a show business, “When you’re dealing with media you’re in show business, you know, whether you like it or not”. Unfortunately, his statement is true, often times these photos that we see of people’s lives are kind of like a false advertisement. But these same false advertisements are leaving people feeling empty and envy of others because one may start comparing his or her life and think they are falling short. The 7 signs that she reveals even makes me reflect back on my own social media use, I often have to question myself about what I am posting and who am I portraying this certain message to. These are vital questions because it has a lot to do with one’s psychological health. This will fit perfectly into my research topic as i am exploring the impacts of Instagram/social media as well

The last article i researched was

: In, How Can We Use Social Media To Cultivate Happiness, (), the writer discusses studies and statistics done on social media and the other side of the argument over whether social media is actually a negative asset to a person’s well-being and overall mental health. What is so interesting about this article is that the author presents several ways into looking and using social media differently. The article explains that often times we do use it as sort of a comparing lives mechanism and even sometimes we are happy if an individual is not doing so well. Just as when I read the article above, social media seems to be a detrimental factor in our lives rather than something comfortable or enjoyable. I think that is a very unhealthy relationship with social media because the purpose of social media is to easily connect with others, not so much to see who is doing better academically or socially. Near the end of the article, the author presents three points that also made me reflect on social media usage but it also took the points made in the first article and explained to individuals that we can take this negative energy and turn it into something positive or beneficial. One of the first points was about using social media as a way to foster real-life social connections, so it other words, use it as maybe a topic for in person conversation. So maybe there is a funny article you see on Twitter, share that with people at the dinner table.

media as more of a tool to inspire and motivate you to get you where you truly want to be. This is excellent because I think sometimes comparing lives on social media is inevitable but using that comparison in a way that motivates you is a great way to use social media. We should be happy when others do well and we should use that to increase our own happiness.

Another point is using social media as a way to better the world. Maybe being on the forefront of promoting causes and changes, maybe someone has a lot of Instagram followers, maybe promoting a cause could bring upon positivity in the Instagram community.

In reading both articles, I found that both have this common theme of self-esteem and self-worth. Social media seems to be driving some sort of emotion or psychological factor, almost as if everything we see we take at face value. Sometimes individuals fail to realize that generally individuals will want to show the happiest moments and the proudest moments, not the most tragic moments. I think both articles sort of marry each other because as social media can cause a feeling of emptiness or depression, what it can also do is inspire or motivate an individual which is great for self-esteem.

Why i love all three articles is that it delves into the topic of self and the impact on self-confidence, self-esteem, and depression. It will be exiting to continue researching the topic of Instagram.

Would love some answers to these questions below?

1. What do you use Instagram for?

2. Have you seen a picture or read an inspiring quote in the captions of someones post and got inspired or motivated?

3. How many times a day or week do you use Instagram?

4. If you do not use Instagram, what other social media do you use and why?

5. Do you feel more connected when you are on social media? or is this a false sense of fulfillment

6. Do you think social media benefits society? or does not benefit society?


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11 Responses to “Inquiry Project Post #3: The motive behind Instagram users?!”

  1. December 22, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    In addition to this publicity, in October 2012, the online payment processor Bit – Pay reported that more than 1,000 merchants were accepting Bitcoin as
    a valid currency to pay for merchandise. There is more money chasing comparatively few products otherwise known as “inflation. Bitcoins or Litecoins can be exchanged for “real” currency at a given rate.

  2. February 1, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    We are all born with the same potential so what makes us different in the end? Why is it that some of us have to struggle our entire lives to have the wealth we deserve when it comes so easy to others? The answer is more simple than you know. Read The Bridge to a Limitless Life and get the first 3 chapters free of charge. It will change your life.

  3. July 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Hey sarah! My inquiry project has to do with social mediac and music and instagram has a big example in some of my findings.I use instagram to show things that I find cool and funny and i try to post things that others think is cool as well. I feel that social media benefits society through its ability to share and communicate at an instant.

    • July 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Oh wow that is awesome! i love finding other people who are also focusing on social media! I will definitely keep you posted on other things I find that can help both of us!

  4. July 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    You have a start in your reading here. I think you should look into research on envy. Not as it relates to social media — just the psychology of envy, what scholars say about it. Then you can apply this to Instagram.
    There is a word in another language — I can’t remember the language — that means something like: angst caused by another person’s good fortune or happiness. We don’t have a word in English for this feeling, but it IS a feeling we have — I guess envy or jealousy is closest to that word. But this word was more like “despair” over another person’s happiness.

    Have you looked at how businesses use Instagram? I’ve heard of restaurants asking people to take down Instagram photos of their food.

    Stay open to new ideas as you research! You will learn a lot if you follow the trails your research leads you down!

  5. June 30, 2014 at 3:01 am #

    What do you think about me using Nicholas Carr’s article as sort of my basis for the essay?

    – Its a good article and a long one too, so i think it would work as a basis. That being said he does come off as a little “Smarter than thou” in area’s, avoid letting that seep into your project.

    Is this topic something you would want to read?

    -Maybe, i am really not a good person to ask this question >.>

    Do you feel dumber using social media or things like Google?

    – I do not really use social media, so no. As for google its just a search engine i really don’t think it ties into my intelligence much.

    Do you think technology and the internet has increased competition?

    In some ways yes, and in other ways no. I think technology at first gave the underdog a massive way to catch up, now it works the other way around. The investment needed in technology to work on some peoples level now is so outrageous its just not possible to catch up.

  6. June 30, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    I dont believe social media is making us become less intelligent, but instead wastes alot of our time which could be spent doing more productive things, such as focusing on academics, reading, exercising, etc. There are a lot of benefits social media has in our day to day lives. First we get all kinds of information, about our friends, family, and the world through a small, portable device. This allows us to keep up with our friends and family lives, and able us to communicate with them without traveling far distances. With too much of anything becomes a problem, and yes their are a lot of younger people who are more addicted to social media, but thats not the media’s fault, it is our natural addiction quality humans have.

  7. June 28, 2014 at 2:49 am #

    -What is another way I can frame my question to encompass everything I want to talk about? When I mean limiting our world, I mean socially, educationally, and through communication.
    Honestly I think yours is alright. You could maybe use “does social media limit us as a race” maybe.

    -Is there anything that I should not focus on or am I including too much in the project?
    I think your evidence is pretty broad. Maybe you should do a little more research, see what you can get the most resources on, and narrow your focus that way.

    -What do you think about me using Nicholas Carr’s article as sort of my basis for the essay?
    It’s definitely a good article, though it’s a little broad. I think it’s a good starting point though.

    -Is this topic something you would want to read?
    It sounds like a good project to work on, though I’ve read a lot of similar things.

    -Do you feel dumber using social media or things like Google?
    Frankly, I feel smarter. Anywhere a lot of people can congregate and do stupid things makes me feel much smarter by relation. Seriously, though: not really. I feel stupid whenever I waste time on anything, be it video games or hanging out with my friends.

    -Do you think technology and the internet has increased competition?
    Always. Technology advances always do, and this one more than most.

  8. June 28, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    What is another way I can frame my question to encompass everything I want to talk about? When I mean limiting our world, I mean socially, educationally, and through communication.

    You could possibly ask the question of how social media has affected those specific areas and then find out if these changes do actually limit us or actually open up new avenues for expansion.

    Is there anything that I should not focus on or am I including too much in the project?

    I feel that your topic might be too broad. I would have a hard time figuring out what to write and where to start with such a broad topic but if it works for you thats great!(:

    What do you think about me using Nicholas Carr’s article as sort of my basis for the essay?

    Like professor Boaz said, I think it would be difficult because his focus is not on social media but it would be interesting to see how you would do that if that’s what you decide! As she also mentioned, Carr is looking at the way our brains are adapting to the internet in a negative way, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing and many people don’t see it that way but its up to you to decide if its a bad thing or not.

    Is this topic something you would want to read?

    I’m looking forward to reading your final paper it sounds like a really interesting topic!

    Do you feel dumber using social media or things like Google?

    It depends on what you mean by “dumb” and what you value intellectually. Do you value common sense or the memorization of facts or strong interpersonal skills? Personally, I don’t feel dumb using social media or google though. I just see them as new tools for us to use, not as “shortcuts” or “taking the easy way out.”

    Do you think technology and the internet has increased competition?

    I don’t necessarily think that social media, the internet or any of the other technological advancements we’ve made thus far has increased competition. I definitely think that it has transformed the way that competition manifests itself, wether it be in business or between people on social networking sites. I think competition has evolved to be more online than in person but in general just changing, not really increasing.

  9. Bonnie Boaz
    June 28, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    Your last call for response — social media increasing ‘competition.” The psychology of envy mentioned in one of your articles is an interesting idea — how social media operates on creating a “status” and in some ways creating images that may drive envy in other people. I think you touched on this in your first post on Instagram.

    I know that Carr’s article got a lot of attention, but since he’s written it, there have been a string of responses that refute his point. Yes, we DO read differently now, and Carr’s point about our doing less “deep” reading is likely very true. But is this making us “dumber,” as he said, and you agree with, has been disputed. You’ll need to read those responses to get all sides of this issue. Carr definitely doesn’t have the one, final say on this. It’s one guy’s fears about Google and internet reading — (not really his fears about social media, though. So I’m not sure how you will use Carr as a foundation for a study of social media. He is concerned about our internet reading habits, right? Not our socializing habits?)

    Is condensing on Twitter necessarily a “bad” thing? It’s difficult to condense an important topic into a tweet — but it’s a good exercise for a writer.

    You seem to be approaching social media with serious concerns, right? What is your most serious concern? It’s hard to study every education, work, social concern. At your very heart, why are you concerned about social media? Why does it feel “limiting” to you? What limiting features of social media can you explore more? What questions do you have?

  10. June 27, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    I just apologized to the class in my Inquiry Project Week 3 Reflection because I felt bad for writing such long passages, so I believe Carr and Lenwinksi have a point!

    Also, as I am researching, I feel that information should just be handed to me rather than me search and find it. I don’t know if this is due to years of internet and social media use, America’s instant gratification culture, or if I’m just lazy.

    Funny tidbit!! So I guess it is a skill to read text lingo, my brother (who is one year younger, but I guess more proper) cant read it at all. He always ask me, what does this say? Or Symone I cant read that.

    Your paper topic seems fantastic! It hits at home for me because I always wonder “is this making me dumber?”

    1. I am horrible at coming up with research questions, so I probably suck at framing too. But how about “Is social media limiting Americans in developing proper social, educational, and communication skills? And has it changed society for the better or worse?

    – I added americans, because I thought you may just want to focus on USA.. but its up to you.. If you want to focus on American youth, you can say that too..
    – communication skills are found in social and education environments so you dont really have to add it in the first question. I just put it there because of you call for responses question.
    – I would recommend for the last question you should choose.. And has it changed society for the better… changed society for the worse.. Not both

    2. I think should solely focus on the short and long term side effects of social media on youth and young adults.

    3. I think Carr article is great for your research and highlights Lewinski findings. For example, Carr said the overuse of internet/technology alters our brain, we no longer want to read long passages. This kind of relates to what Lewinski was saying about twitter (140 count) and how we try to condense information so if can be fast, short and sweet.

    4. Yes, I would definitely want to read this!

    5. Sometimes. I think I feel more dependent.

    6. If you are referring to competition in the workforce, then yes. Technology has cause the need for skilled, educated laborers, while the unskilled are being replaced. Its causing a huge gap between classes. This is another great topic.

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