Very much like everything else on this planet, girls seem to have a different way of using Instagram, the world’s most popular photo-sharing social media platform. Traditionally girls have always been under a lot of pressure to be “good”; meaning they mustbe well-mannered, be able to get along well with everyone, be able to avoid conflicts, etc. These artificial boundaries have universally forced them to drive their true emotions underground, only to unchain their true emotions with members of their “secret” group. The arrival of the Internet, and especially the social media, has permitted girls access to platforms where they can express their emotions and insecurities. Instagram has emerged as the top preference and teenagers reporting the photo-sharing app to be their savior.
Instagram permits users to share photos with their friends to see, like, and comment upon. There is often a race to see whose photograph has emerged as the most liked or commented upon, and this kind of acts as an indicator of the popularity of the user. Being a photo oriented platform, girls are also encouraged to use their creativity and project the image of themselves they want to show to the world with tools like filters. The fact that Instagram is very simple and comprises only pictures also assures parents in some way that it is far less dangerous than other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have gained a certain amount of notoriety.
Instagram’s Simplicity – Deception in Action
If you look really closely, you will find a lot of hidden emotions behind the façade of simplicity of Instagram. After posting the photographs, girls tend to obsess over the number of likes and comments attracted. It has coined its own jargon too, for example, girls who fail to attract too many like on a particularly prized photograph may very well feel “Instashame”. Also, meanings are attributed to comments that can lead to a lot of friction. The platform is treated like a reassuring, tangible and very much public statement of the social status of a girl. While definitely this could not have been the intention of the creators of the app, behavioral psychologists are quick to rationalize this behavior as being quite normal as girls undergo a lot of emotional upheaval during their teens. Chasing Instagram likes is just another way of finding acceptance that is so elusive for many. Instagram followers and likes are treated as if these are some sort of a popularity meter, and quite obviously girls learn very fast how to manipulate the success level.
Top Ways Girls Use Instagram
Behind the apparently simple act of sharing photographs lies a more real desire of a girl to gauge how well she is liked by others in her peer group. There is a very arcane code used by girls to indicate how much they like someone else, a TBH (to be honest) comment is just one of them. Girls also use Instagram to gauge how much a friend like her.She may comment on a friend’s photo just to get a “like” in return.
A method of understanding the popularity of a girl is by counting the number of tags she gets in her friends’ photographs, even when she may not be physically present in it. While nobody can get to know the real number of such tagged photos, the friends of the girl will know when she has arrived as they will keep on seeing her name popping up all the time. Girls also use Instagram to show a public display of affection to their best friends. This is usually done by including the friend’s name in the few lines on the page-top. Very uniquely, sharing Instagram photos by girls is a popular way of retaliation when they are angry with someone. Sharing photos of events where the other girl wasn’t invited, or a group photo that doesn’t include someone particular, are ways that girls use to show their stance.
Author bio: Marvin Andersonis a social media consultant for a number of lifestyle brands. He has written prolifically on how companies can structure content to attract the maximum number of Instagram likes.