• Leila Ainge

A true reflection?Instagram and Authenticity

There’s a lot of debate around the influence of social media on our ideals, do we believe everything we see? And does social media make us more anxious?

Unsurprisingly most of the research in this area has focused on the effect of other peoples posting activity on our well-being.

We know that the highly curated content we see on Instagram falls under a positivity bias, for spontaneous and planned posts, Instagram users present an image of themselves through their content. Arguably, spontaneous stories offer a more realistic snapshot of our lives.

But new research from Germany looks at the way we perceive our own authenticity when we post on Instagram.

Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz asked posters how they felt about authenticity when posting.

Does posting between stories and the grid alter our own authenticity perception?

In this sample there was a slight increase in authenticity and well-being when participants posted to stories, but what’s really interesting is about this research is the ‘feel good effect’ that posting spontaneous fleeting stories brought.

We already know that instagram behaviour drives positive posting, we are more likely to present a positive self image than a negative one, but this doesn’t seem to effect our personal authenticity levels. Good to know if you have imposter feelings where authenticity is reported to be a significant barrier to 'showing up'. This research from Germany suggests that social media can be an authentic space for us to express ourselves, it’s not all Fake-stagram.

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