With more than 1,000,000,000 active users, Instagram has created an industry of influencers who monetize their identity for clicks, notes author and relationship therapist Laura Berman. At the heart of this industry, she indicates, are the customers--the eager consumers who buy into the picture-perfect "reality' that seems to exist just beyond their fingertips.
"Due to its visual nature, Instagram impacts us on a very primal lever she says, pointing out the similarities between Instagram and dating apps. "It's all about branding, appearance, and presenting the perfect package. You scroll through the platform 'liking' and interacting with posts based on the accompanying images, much like how singles 'swipe right' or 'swipe left' when looking for desirable mates"
As with dating apps, Berman--author of Real Sex for Real Women:
Intimacy, Pleasure & Sexual Wellbeing and Quantum Love: Use Your Body's Atomic Energy to Create the Relationship You Desire--notes that racy images gain the most attention, with likes and follows growing the more skin a person is willing to reveal. 'This can be especially dangerous for young girls, who are being covertly encouraged to post racier images in order to gain attention, even as they internally feel dismayed or anxious about such explicit photographs.
"As they become desensitized, they become at greater risk of being victimized by predators both online and in real life...