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Nowadays, many social media platforms, especially Instagram, are not only places in which people share post. In the past, sharing content on social media had a simpler concept. People shared what they experienced in everyday life with other people through photographs or text. However, the fact that social media is present at almost every moment in our lives, now, pushes us to experience something in order to share it on social media. Besides, this situation makes us constantly follow the sharing of other people who share something on social media because we feel like we have experienced a thing just by seeing different posts.
Instagram has become an experience, not just a sharing network. When we share anything we experience, there is a change in our frequency of experiencing that thing. The comments we receive from the post, the number of likes of that post, and the state of sharing that post also change the way we feel about that experience. In fact, social media has become a place that reshapes our lives.
There is a special reason that Instagram is specifically emphasized in this article. Having a completely visual structure, making post sharing is extremely easy and practical, and the fact that membership can be realized quickly leads to a more powerful showcase of Instagram. While this powerful showcase serves as a mirror of life, sometimes life can become a mirror of this showcase.
How To Interpret Instagram’s Influence on Experiences?
Instagram's great power was due to its widespread use. Especially since the smart phones became widespread, social media has become a place that we are always in, not a place we visit sometimes. This situation increased the effectiveness of social media in our lives.
Experiences are much more crowded on Instagram than ever before. Because now there are many more paradigms that shape experiences. Experiences can be remembered not only by their own characteristics, but also by the way they are shared. For example, let's imagine you are receiving a coffee with a very elegant presentation. When you photograph and share this stylish presentation to Instagram, you give a message to your brain. The message is this: Remember this cafe not with your current feelings, but with the coffee presentation you share. This situation shape how we perceive the moment. Because what we focus on to share is the moment itself. In other words, Instagram shapes what point of life we will see and adopt.
Today, Instagram is more than just an ordinary social media platform. Instagram is a space where people display a lot of information about their personal lives and share their lives in a common pool. Therefore, this area brought us closer to many people who would not be able to obtain information under normal circumstances. We've learned a lot more about these people and about their lives than we need. As all these situations developed, a phenomenon called Instagram phenomenon emerged. These phenomena, which share some of their lives through Instagram, make their profiles valuable in the eyes of other profiles, share many photos every day, and Instagram users learn a lot about their lives.
When looking at instagram phenomena or the influencer group on Instagram, the first thing to notice is that almost every photo is about a different fun. So much so that someone who watches these photos can think that these people go to parties all the time, they always go around wearing make-up and very stylish clothes. In such a situation, many people may envy the lives of these celebrities on the Instagram. But is the life of instagram influencers as colorful and fun as it really looks?
But What Happens in Real?
Of course the situation is not just like what it seems. Especially as the number of influencers increased recently, so did the number of interviews with these people. The resulting picture shows that an influencer on Instagram sees the Instagram profile as a scene, not a reflection of his or her life. In addition to that, she or he is constantly preparing and organizing things in order tos hare them ın Instagram. Therefore, what Instagram influencers show in which many people are jealous of their daily lives is actually a professional performance, not a daily practice. We know that many individuals who follow influencers on Instagram have decreased their positive feelings towards their own lives today. One of the main reasons for this is the behavior of the individual to compare his / her own life with the influencers' reflections on the Instagram. In order to prevent this situation, it is very important that people become aware of this issue and distinguish between life and stage light. Especially for adolescents, this is more important for personal development.
The intense use of Instagram today has completely changed the chemistry of our society, which is called consumption society by sociologists. Don't worry, this article doesn't contain a cruel place for Instagram. On the contrary, we will briefly talk about what the Instagram's introduction into our lives brought to us as a consumer society and took away from us. Let’s begin with two faces of Instagram marketing networks and their characteristics.
Instagram Boutiques by Women: First Face of Instagram Marketing Network
As Instagram evolved and many users in the World started using Instagram, both large companies and new small boutiques began to create profiles on Instagram. This made instagram not only a social media platform for personal sharing, but also a commercial platform for selling and marketing. Instagram was already a commercial platform because there were always posts about advertising. However, as direct sales progressed through this social platform, it turned out that amateur business ventures also had a better chance of making a profit. This situation affected many people. According to the researches, most of the people selling something in their amateur boutiques through Instagram are women. Instagram's free sale - space and various hobbies that women can do in their homes have provided a wide opportunity for women to gaining money. Such an opportunity paves the way for a very positive situation, especially for women living in rural areas. These women are entering a period of financial emancipation and their self-confidence is increasing day by day.
The Change of Consuming Patterns: Second Face of Instagram Marketing Network
The increase in sales through Instagram and the rapid increase in Instagram boutiques bring a new trend together. Now people have come to the habit of online shopping everywhere. A person who refuses to shop from an ordinary e-commerce site coincides with a personal sales profile while browsing through Instagram. In other words, it became completely impossible to escape the habit of online shopping or to isolate oneself from such an action. This may have begun to reshape people's consumption patterns.
How does this happen? Instagram contributes significantly to the virtualization of trade. Because the virtualization of business is entering the process of normalization via Instagram. Big stores are no longer subjects and we are not objects of sale. At the first moment we wish, we can also become sales subjects. This has added a new paradigm to the flow of money.
Today, Instagram is one of the most used social media accounts in the world. The behavior of individuals while creating their own profiles on Instagram and the behavior of individuals while spending time on Instagram is a serious research topic especially for social psychologists. Instagram affects not only social relations but also our physiology itself due to the alternative world it creates within the web.
I seem to hear you're a little surprised when you read the last sentence. How does a social media platform directly affect a person's physiology? Let's get it straight.
Dopamin: Reason of Why We Spend So Much Time on Instagram
A recent study conducted by social psychologists found that the Like button on Instagram had a very different effect on users. Research has concluded that the higher the number of likes of the post one shares, the higher the secretion rate of dopamine hormone one has. How can it happens?
Dopamine is actually a hormone secreted in the reward pathways of an individual's brain. When we get stimuli that we perceive as reward during the day, our brain is intensely secreting dopamine and this makes us feel very happy for a while. However, the dopamine hormone causes a short-lived feeling of happiness, which means it does not work just as serotonine. Since our brain enjoys the feeling that we can express as happiness or satisfaction, it transmits to us somehow that it wants to secrete the dopamine hormone more and more frequently This whole situation leads to our desire to relive this happiness that allows us to secrete the dopamine hormone. We call this the ‘’state of being dependent’’ in daily life. Dopamine can be shown as one of the reasons we become addicted to something. When this is the case, can dopamine also be the cause of Instagram addiction? To Conclude…
In fact, answering yes to this question may be a bit too generalizing. But although it sounds strange, it is possible to say clearly: The number of likes of our photos on Instagram gives us physical pleasure! This leads us to share more photos on Instagram and to want more likes in our shared photos. This leads us to spend most of our time on Instagram and constantly checking our notifications. Virtual communication types, especially Instagram, have a more intense impact on us than we thought.
The rapidly developing social media habit is very popular not only among individuals but also among institutions. Many organizations use social media accounts to increase marketing areas. Some activities such as product promotion, advertising, customer relations are managed through these social media accounts. Moreover, the fact that institutions have sincere and open social media pages affects the accessibility of institutions in globalizing world practice.
What does the globalizing world mean? Globalization means order in which everything and everyone converges, and that the change that occurs in any part of the world affects another point of the world. In the practice of globalization, we see that the concept of shopping is also re-created. Customer satisfaction is more important than anything else. Because there are thousands of alternatives for a customer who is not satisfied with the service of any institution. Moreover, the frequent use of the media leads to an intense bombardment of information through advertising. In short, it is not difficult for a consumer to stop using one brand and get used to using another. The companies that are aware of all these have learned to establish close relations with their customers through Instagram profiles.
More Warmer Relationships with Customers via Instagram: Sense of Belonging
A brand no longer needs to produce quality products to keep its customers with itself. Because the quality product is not a part of the show business. Moreover, in a world where everything is consumed and re - purchased so quickly, many products are not even used until they become old. New propaganda material is the relations that serve spirituality. The special bond established between the brand and the consumer will constantly lead the consumer to buy the same brand’s products. The important thing is that the consumer who uses the brand feels special because he / she uses this brand.
Instagram is extremely important for establishing this spiritual relationship between the consumer and the brand. Because communication through Instagram develops without intermediaries. Moreover, customers share their feelings and experiences with brands through instagram stories and feel important and valuable. That feeling occurs because brand profiles generally respond to these stories. In this case, the sense of belonging to the brands is formed more easily. Of course it can be said that it is really important fort he companies who want to sell their product continuously.