If you have lots of friends, social media can make you feel better

When individuals post photos of their wonderful lives on social media, we do not typically think of this as propaganda – but literally, these are propaganda messages that say “I have a cool life” and you should follow and Like my posts.

A new paper comes up with the remarkable (not really) finding that if you have a lot of friends, social media can make you feel better about yourself.

Buried at the end: if you do not have a lot of friends, social media may cause you to be very depressed.

The data analysed revealed that using Instagram at one point was related to increased closeness to friends (perception that they are appreciated and loved by their friends) six months later, which in turn was related to lower levels of depression.

However, the researchers cautioned that if the use of the photo sharing app fails to stimulate the feeling of closeness to friends, it could be harmful in the long run.

Read more at: Instagram usage could help adolescents combat depression

I deleted my Instagram account two days ago because Instagram is a shallow propaganda platform for the purpose of self promotion.

Followers were not interested in my photography but were following others to get someone to follow them back. On Instagram, I saw crowds of narcissists, frequently attractive young women, posting endless photos of themselves, having an exciting and perfect life.

The main purpose of Instagram is not to show case one’s work or skill but to scream “Look at me!”. The primary propaganda message of Instagram is self promotion!

Many of the accounts that followed mine had a business connection – their goal was to increase followers to their (usually) small business. They followed everyone in hopes you would follow them back.

At the bottom line, Instagram is just another propaganda platform – for the purpose of self promotion. This phenomena has turned into an industry of “a new kind of social-media celebrity, someone famous not for starring in movies or recording hit songs but for documenting an enviable life.” Look at me!!!!!!!

Social media, especially Instagram and Youtube, enable this new industry. Today, Youtube has numerous channels of world travelers and sailors who post videos and live off donations via Patreon. Fair enough, some post high quality travelogues that rival professional productions and are worthy of support while others make  clear “Your donations allow me to pursue this dream life where I post photos of my self and my girlfriend who is really cute in a bikini on a white sandy beach over turquoise waters.”

The desire for approval – via likes – is so intense that it seems one photo sharing site uses an army of bots to give fake likes and followers to their members.

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