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The Benefits Of Instagram Outweigh The Harms

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The ongoing debate over whether Instagram provides more benefits than harms is a controversial topic that is important to our society due to the public’s excessive use and over-reliance on social media. One of the most popular Social Networking Sites (SNS) named Instagram was first released in October of 2010, featuring an innovative approach that focuses on visual content, unlike other SNS like Facebook or Twitter which focuses on the textual content (Lee et al. 2). Instagram is a photo sharing app that allows users to upload photos and view likes or comments on their photos by other Instagram users (Ridgway and Clayton 2). Although Instagram gained its popularity among various age ranges, the mean age of Instagram users is young adults in their 20s, with 44.3% of Instagram users spending more than thirty minutes per day on Instagram (Ahadzadeh et al. 10-11; Lee et al. 3; Ridgway and Clayton 3). Today, people utilize SNSs like Instagram to gather or share information, giving individuals the opportunity to build connections with others. Therefore, more research on the positive impacts of Instagram could guide those individuals who are currently not an Instagram user to create an Instagram account and benefit from it. Indeed, academic studies on the issue show that Instagram plays a positive role in society because Instagram is beneficial in marketing and providing social support for cancer patients.

Conversely, some critics oppose the use of Instagram on the grounds that it would be destructive to the users’ body satisfaction. For instance, researchers Ahadzadeh and others discuss how individuals’ body satisfaction decreases as they become increasingly aware of the unrealistic body standards Instagram promotes. As Instagram advertises such unrealistic body images on the newsfeed, Ahadzadeh and others write that Instagram, “cause individuals to frequently engage in social comparisons related to physical appearances, thus leading to negative feeling towards their body” (8). The authors’ opinion is a typical one that aims to demonstrate evident harm on the users’ body satisfaction that can be attained from using Instagram. Similarly, in their article, “Instagram Unfiltered: Exploring Associations of Body Image Satisfaction, Instagram #Selfie Posting, and Negative Romantic Relationship Outcomes,” Ridgway and Clayton also display an interchangeable position on the issue. They illustrate that SNSs like Instagram is “culturally and socially constructed” for it to be “used to monitor their appearances through comparison to others’ physiques” (3). Although the impeccable body images of people displayed on Instagram negatively influences the users’ body satisfaction, what many critics often overlook are the countless benefits Instagram can contribute to society through Instagram use.

One of the leading benefits that could be attained through marketing on Instagram is the improved advertisement strategies in society. According to economic researchers Khoirina and Sisprasodjo, Instagram is one of the most effective social media marketing tools for advertising due to its diverse online community. The authors point out that Instagram’s “function known as the hashtag (#) for the convenience of showing photos and videos that are relevant to the products of business,” will be the key to success in today’s business world (134). As Khoirina and Sisprasodjo mentioned, utilizing hashtags can help publicize certain contents by grouping related posts that are accessible through the search engine on Instagram. Hashtag use will not only promote specific contents but will also attract potential consumers. A similar perspective on the issue can be observed in Latiff and Safiee’s article, “New Business Set Up for Branding Strategies on Social Media – Instagram,” where unlimited marketing potential is displayed. Latiff and Safiee note that “simply tag[ging] the username for the Instagram business allow[s] other potential consumers to browse through that Instagram account” (18). When the Instagram users click on the tagged username on a photo, individuals will be placed on that account’s page, and solely clicking on the username allows the consumers to go through other posts by that account, which encourages the consumers to become potential customers. Where some critics like Ahadzadeh and others see the harm in interacting with other users on Instagram, the commentator Achen eliminate those concerns. According to the author, when Instagram allows the users to “connect with one another, share information, and express opinions,” consumers are engaging in promoting, resulting in effective advertisement (38). Consumer engagement might be important in Instagram advertisements because it may provide an environment for consumers to communicate with other potential consumers, who then communicate with another potential consumer, reaching more and more potential consumers by increasing awareness of the advertised content. In addition, examining consumer discussions and recommendations on Instagram may help provide a sense of success in marketing because those with active consumer engagement are more likely to be in the centre of controversy. Indeed, using hashtags, tagging usernames and encouraging engagement among consumers are some of the apparent benefits of marketing through Instagram that is decisively a positive force in society.

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That marketing on Instagram carries demonstrable benefit to society is also illustrated through the positive effect it has on the enhanced relationships with customers. Achen addresses that geography is not a barrier when connecting with customers on Instagram. She writes, “companies can consistently communicate with customers without geographical boundaries or time limits” (38). The author’s position can be seen as supportable because Instagram allows users to interact with anyone from everywhere in the world, given that there is an online connection. Without being physically present, customers can ask questions and gain information in a timely manner, which may increase customer satisfaction. Consequentially, customer satisfaction may result in loyal customers, directing toward a developed relationship with the customer. Similarly, Khoirina and Sisprasodjo assert that Instagram has a beneficial impact in strengthening customer relationships because “Instagram ha[s] clear response feature to customers via mentions and replies with controlled message contents” (138). Today, customers on Instagram express their opinions by commenting or “liking” a post. Living in the 21st century, SNSs like Instagram is a vital tool in society because the customers expect to get an answer to their inquiries as soon as possible. Fortunately, Instagram has a feature that enables the company to promptly respond by commenting or direct messaging to the customers. Furthermore, a researcher of management and economics Venciūtė claims that social media “allows firms to recognize and solve potential customer problems,” which “helps improve customer relationship management” (133). Clearly, Instagram is a social media that provides an opportunity for a company to apologize for their fault and come up with a solution to a problem. A customer’s complaint might be indicating that the customer was involved with the company, somehow displaying company loyalty. Therefore, when this complaint is dealt adequately, the unsatisfied customers may be able to build greater trust with the company. Thus, Instagram usage demonstrates that Instagram is a positive force in society because it carries distinct benefits on maintaining satisfying relationships with the customers.

Research demonstrates that Instagram’s benefit is plainly visible in its valuable platform in society on the cancer patients’ mental health support; particularly, with regard to informational support. For instance, in their article “Social Media Use Among Parents of Young Childhood Cancer Survivors,” Wilford and others describe “social media platforms as good for sharing preventive health information” (14). Likewise, the health services researchers Gentile and others also point out that the “brief nature of most SM (social media) posts [make it] possible to consume information quickly on many topics” (732). These authors all agree on the fact that social media like Instagram provides individuals with the ability to gather information rapidly, giving them the opportunity to obtain information from those who share similar concerns. Such information is not simply limited to sharing general information but also includes cautioning and giving tips to avoid any repetitive misjudgments. In their article, “The Effect of Social Network Site Use on the Psychological Well-Being of Cancer Patients,” Seyedezahra Shadi and others state, “informational support refers to guidance, advice, facts, stories of personal experience, opinions, and referrals to other sources of data and information that aim to eliminate or solve support seekers’ problems or help in evaluating situations” (311). Sharing health-related information can terminate predictable harms when dealt effectively and it is also a productive way for social media such as Instagram to provide accurate information to other patients. Certainly, providing informational support for cancer patients’ mental health proves that Instagram is overwhelmingly a beneficial tool for society.

Beyond informational support, however, Instagram’s beneficial influence on the cancer patients’ mental health support is also clearly visible in that platform’s connection to the emotional support it provides. Although Instagram proves destructive to society due to its negative influence on individuals’ body satisfaction, Instagram demonstrates clear benefits that can outweigh the harms. According to the clinical researchers Walton and others, social media may help patients “feel less socially isolated and more empowered to engage in the management of their illness” (537). Expressing themselves by connecting with other patients on Instagram provides emotional support because Instagram not only allows the patients to relieve loneliness but may also motivate them to accomplish particular health-related goals, positively affecting those patients to get through such health-related concerns. In addition, Gentile and others also point out the importance of alleviating loneliness by communicating on social media with other patients. They write, “social isolation is associated with higher all-cause mortality,” while “social support is correlated with better physical and mental health-related quality of life” (732). When the patients are mentally struggling, they may try to distance themselves from everyone and everywhere, because they may be fatigued to express their emotions and explain why they feel a certain way. Yet, interacting on Instagram with those who share the same concerns is a different story; those patients are in a similar situation, experiencing similar feelings. Being able to converse among those patients can be emotionally supportive because they can be more understanding. Similarly, Seyedezahra Shadi and others also indicate that “emotional support refers to expressions of caring, sympathy, listening, understanding, empathy, and encouragement” (1311). Such emotional support is irreplaceable because communicating on Instagram with others who share the same struggles can be greatly reassuring. Thus, Instagram is instrumental to society on the grounds that it facilities emotional support for cancer patients.

Viewed collectively, scholarly research on Instagram usage proves that the app is an indispensable, valuable tool in today’s modern society due to its clear importance in business promotion and providing public assistance for cancer patients. Proof of Instagram’s value as a social media platform in society can be seen in the opportunities it creates for business, especially in the improved advertising strategies and an enhanced customer-company relationship. Similarly, that Instagram is clearly an asset in contemporary life can also be seen by its ability to provide both informational and emotional support. Indeed, the benefits of Instagram distinctly outweigh the harms.

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The Benefits Of Instagram Outweigh The Harms. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-benefits-of-instagram-outweigh-the-harms/
“The Benefits Of Instagram Outweigh The Harms.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/the-benefits-of-instagram-outweigh-the-harms/
The Benefits Of Instagram Outweigh The Harms. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-benefits-of-instagram-outweigh-the-harms/> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2022].
The Benefits Of Instagram Outweigh The Harms [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 29 [cited 2022 Dec 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-benefits-of-instagram-outweigh-the-harms/
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