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Every single morning, you wake up and check your phone as part of your daily routine. Chances are, you’ll be on your Facebook or Instagram, or both. In today’s youth and young adult generation, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are amongst the top applications most people use on the daily basis.

“Over 90% of the 200 million people on the photo-sharing network are under the age of 35, a recent BI Intelligence report found, and the demographics skew toward the urban, female, and rich.” (Baer)

What makes applications like Instagram so addictive? Why do we feel the need to check those applications every day, hour or even every 5 minutes? Nir Eyal of Stanford University explains this phenomenon with a range of reasons.

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Image Courtesy of Lobo Studio Hamburg

Photography has become so accessible to the mass that everyone is taking full advantage of this opportunity. Anyone can become a “photographer” simply by shooting a picture with their smart phones. A picture is said to be a thousand words, but that was in the past when pictures were not a common sight. With applications like Instagram and Snapchat, the act of taking a picture has become habit-forming due to the fear of missing out. “It stems from this anxiety that we feel if we don’t capture this moment it will disappear forever.” (Baer) People of all ages have been snapping pictures of everything they deem worth looking at and with the use of Instagram filters, a bad picture taken on the phone can be transformed into something people might actually appreciate and like.

Instagram has border limits when taking a picture. It only accepts square pictures instead of the full pictures I can take with the Camera app on my smart phone. As the majority of Instagram users aren’t devoted into the true art of editing photos, they’d rather use the Instagram app to take the picture so they can put on a quick filter and upload it onto the servers immediately. The constant usage of Instagram forms into a habit that eventually leads to the Instagram addiction.

Instagram is not just a photo-taking application that has snazzy filters, it’s also a social network. Liking other user’s pictures, seeking approval through likes and commenting on pictures becomes a daily routine for a lot of users. After the introduction of Instagram Direct, users are able to get personal with one on one talks and picture sharing, much like Snapchat.

I believe that we’re all falling into the Instagram cycle and it is indeed a brilliant application. We all have the fear of missing out moments in life and Instagram takes full advantage of it. The more followers and people we’re following, the more often we’ll be checking our Instagram as there’s no doubt new pictures will be uploaded every few minutes and even seconds.

Sources:

Feature Image courtesy of kropekk_pl

http://www.businessinsider.com/psychology-of-why-instagram-is-addictive-2014-11

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