Are you following Expressive Age on Instagram?  If so, you see images to inspire and stimulate your self-expression.  Beware!

While to date no one has conducted Instagram use research on those at an Expressive Age (50 to 75), research on women (age 18 to 35) suggests a negative outcome.  Rather than being inspired by beauty, fitness, or travel images, these younger women showed less desirable responses, such as lower self-esteem or depressive symptoms.

The Relationship Between Frequency of Instagram Use, Exposure to Idealized Images, and Psychological Well-Being in Women

Frequent use of the social media photo-sharing app Instagram could contribute to negative psychological outcomes in women, suggests this study in Psychology of Popular Media Culture (Sherlock, M., & Wagstaff, D.L., advance online publication). Researchers surveyed 119 women, ages 18 to 35, about their Instagram use, mental health outcomes and self-perceptions. On average, more Instagram use was correlated with more depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, more general and physical appearance anxiety, and more body dissatisfaction. In a follow-up experiment, the researchers showed women beauty, fitness or travel images from Instagram. Participants who saw the beauty and fitness images rated their own attractiveness lower than a control group that saw no images. DOI: 10.1037/ppm0000182

Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy it but be curious how it impacts your wellbeing.  Images of desirable lifestyles can have a double edge.   It’s possible that those age 50+ experience Instagram as a source of fulfillment, curiosity, inspiration, and new ideas.   Follow Expressive Age on Instagram and let me know.

Additional Reading

Exploring the Relationship Between Frequency of Instagram Use, Exposure to Idealized Images, and Psychological Well-being in Women