Instagramxiety

Ok, bear with me for a moment. Rawrr. Let's hop on the poisonous consecuences of game theory train.


The way Instagram works, it rewards those who garner more attention. Since attention and time in the app is what drives their business. So you will tend to see people who you tend to see. It's a chicken and egg scenario. You watch x so they show you more x so that you keep using the app. This means you'll see a lot of

A. People who are either super sexy

B. Have a super exciting lifestyle

C. Are competent taking pictures

D. People who take 400 pics until they get the one where they look particularly ravishing.

E. People who endure literal eating disorders in order to have a flat abdomen.

F. People who lurk and like your pics and delete them after they baited you into following them

G. People who do all of the one above

Now, as all these people compete for the same resource, attention, the ones who deploy the most effective strategy wins it all. Whatever *it* is. External validation.

The winners will be those who make the most virulent combination of the above. As in any competition with no clear rules, the performers have to dedicate more and more time and resources to outperform one another. They effectively become pros. Their life and work becomes looking great and earning through ads and product placement and endorsement.

There's also a semi pro tier of people like personal trainers and make up artists and photographers and models who use it to promote their business.

The result?

You end up comparing yourself, not to other people, which is in itself unhealthy, but with the artificially constructed images of people. Peeps who often work at this stuff. What you do on your spare time, they do for a living. When you put half an hour, they put ten.

I might not be very clear, but the gist of your answer is there. A more comprehensive one is in Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy - Wait But Why

There's actually more to it. Instagram engineers work at increasing two numbers. How much to you use the app, and how much the app creates in revenue. They spend their whole work week trying to make you use the app more and earn more. People who spend a lot of time on social media apps are effectively isolated, depressed. Depressed people will make purchases to feel better. This means that, without them knowing, Instagram as well as Facebook reengineers its algorithm so that it gets better and better Webb at making you addicted to it, and depress you.

There's a guy at Instagram whose sole job is making you spend more time in the app. He doesn't think whether what he does is right or wrong. It's his job and he does it well.

There's another one who works on the code to make that revenue number to up. Again, right or wrong are not in his mind. He just does his job.

The third one just wants to feel significant or loved or earn a living or, again, all. This person only wants his follower number go up.

None of them is evil. None of them wants you to feel bad about yourself. It's the system, or rather, the ecosystem, the way each part interacts with the other, that necessarily produces addiction and depression and anxiety and sorrow.

People are intrinsecally good, but systems are intrinsecally heartless. Like nature, it produces wonderful things, at the expense of the old and the weak and the ill.

There is no person in this system whose job is to have a conscience.

Hope that helps.