Is Instagram Ruining Friendships?

Instagram has long been viewed as a bit of a troublesome social platform. It’s generally pretty good at making us all feel a bit inadequate, a bit uglier than everyone else and like the world is having a lot more fun right now than you are. But is Instagram ruining friendships?

White and gold flatlay with baubles and ribbon, a white iphone and a white and gold notebook with text overlay in grey Is Instagram Ruining Friendships?

It’s worth pointing out ahead of what is quite a negative post that obviously there are good things about Instagram. We can share our lives with those not immediately close to us and see anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. But Instagram comes with a whole host of issues which make it hard for me personally to enjoy it as a platform and makes me really feel the negative effects of social media.

Second Guessing Your Friendship

Ever heard of the expression TMI? That’s what you get when you spend too much quality time on social media. You begin to analyse every photo and story that your friends put up, wondering why you weren’t invited and generally getting a bit weird about the current state of your friendship.

Perhaps your best friend didn’t like your recent photo, or didn’t comment and support you? All of a sudden you feel a resentment for your friends that comes out of nowhere. A resentment that wouldn’t have been felt without the presence of Instagram. Perhaps they were working late or the pesky Insta algorithm didn’t show your post but immediately you think worst case scenario; they hate me.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to share your lives with your friends. But there is such thing as a balance and sharing for the right reasons. We shouldn’t feel the need to find an identity in relation to others, or create a perception of ourselves based on the who likes which selfie. Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically spying on other women and our friends, we should be forming real connections and relationships. Instagram makes it very easy to become passive, detached from reality and unsatisfied.

Insta Jealousy

It’s hard to admit but it’s super common and I think we all need to talk about it more. Instagram makes you envious of everyone and everything. All of a sudden, you’re seeing things on social media that are making you extra jealous toward a person you usually have no issues with.

Life is not a competition, but social media can make us forget that at times. Seeing someone’s new car or even seeing a friend going for drinks without you can create some jealous feelings, even to the detriment of the friendship. It’s easy to feel forgotten or jealous of what other’s are doing, but when we’re envious of our friends, it creates an unhealthy imbalance and lots of tension. Is it really worth it? If there’s an issue, then speak to your friends, but don’t let the ‘gram get you down.

And let’s be honest, we are never going to achieve the exact same success we see on Instagram. Everyone’s measure of success is different. It might have taken someone all of their emotional strength to get out of bed in the morning, yet they can sit and scroll through Instagram and feel shitty that everyone has done so much more. We need to celebrate our little wins more and be happy in what we are achieving for ourselves, not constantly measuring against other’s successes. We need to work more to bring each other up. not tear each other down.

The Ultimate Brunch Date

When it comes to making plans with your friends, you might start to feel like you’re only doing things to get that perfect Instagram and not because you actually want to spend quality time with your bestie. Perhaps you only go to a certain cafe but it looks good on the ‘gram, rather than actually loving the food there. Or maybe you suggest meeting up with a friend because you’ve seen online that everybody else is out at an event. You might not actually want to go, but it’s Instagrammable AF, right? The pressure to live a certain life and act a certain way on Instagram is so dangerous and makes us susceptible to becoming a sheep and following the crown. Don’t live your life for Instagram, live it for you!

Do you feel like Instagram affects your friendship, or do you love it? Let me know below!

Get the Latest


  1. Ellie Phillips says

    I used to be all for Instagram until the algorithm turned to shit and made my posts on my blog account not reach anyone! I don’t take my blog insta too seriously now because growing it is impossible, but since that happened i fell back in love with my personal insta and i think you need to take everything with a pinch of salt!

  2. Chloe Osborn says

    This is really interesting, I agree that Instagram has some negative effects, especially for teenagers when friendship is so important. Even when you’re an adult it sucks when you can’t see your friends as much and the only way you see what they’re up to is through social media where their lives seem so much better than yours. I think it’s important to remember that though everything may seem rosy, that’s not always the reality. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to an unattainable life and take more pride in our little successes!

  3. Claire says

    This makes me so sad. I hate that thanks to social media we spend so much time striving for our #bestlife (when did that become a thing!) when forgetting that our best life is right there, we are living it without needing to make it look prettier, cooler and in general social media worthy.

    I love social media but I’m old enough to use it for what it is.

    Great post though

  4. Pallavi says

    Oh, social media perpetrates so much self doubt that it can definitely harm our friendships and relationships, everything you pointed out is pretty accurate, we need to recognize it and address it as well.

  5. Elen Mai says

    I find that Instagram is replacing certain aspects of friendships for sure! There’s not as much need to “catch up” since people put a lot of their general day-to-day online now and it’s quite underwhelming. x
    El |

  6. monica says

    I don’t feel it affects my friendships because my closest friends actually don’t use social media much. I am so guilty of feeling so envious of all the perfect lives on instagram. All of this also went down with Facebook when it was popular. Its so easy to get dragged into those feelings of competition and FOMO but I think we remind ourselves that it is not real life at all then maybe we have some hope.

  7. Zoë says

    I have two instagrams, a public one for my blog & youtube, and a private one with my friends. I use to feel like shite all the time after seeing certain pictures of people together, and me never, ever being invited. Turns out Instagram spotted my fake friends before I did. Now I just love seeing everyone adventures and what they are up to! I couldn’t care less anymore, and I dont get that jealous feeling I use to feel all too often! Love this post!! xx

  8. Lily says

    I think this is a great post, especially this “Life is not a competition, but social media can make us forget that at times.”
    Unfortunately, I had experiences of friends asking why they weren’t invited to something. Sometimes I purposefully wouldn’t post a cool photo because I didn’t want people to know what I was doing without them. I took down the Instagram for my blog and took the app off my phone entirely. I think my life has improved since removing Insta from it.

  9. Lauren says

    Comparing yourself with others on social media is a true robber of joy. I have to keep reminding myself of that and know that just because someone’s life looks perfect on IG doesn’t mean it truly is. Love this post and the questions it raises!

  10. Savannah says

    I have felt bothered in the past when I’d see posts on Instagram and I wasn’t invited, but that was more in the early infancy of the app, when it was less calculated and more about posting as you go, and I was in high school. Now, I see Instagram affecting me more with people I don’t know, and playing the comparison game. Lavish vacations, super fit and skinny insta models with online careers, etc. Luckily it hasn’t affected my real relationships, but I have had to step back a few times and ask myself if I should be spending so much time on the app. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Anaïs says

    I loved reading this post and I think sometimes people get too intense about Instagram.
    I know I love taking loads of pictures but doesn’t mean I do it only to post them on Insta ans show my ‘perfect’ life on it.
    I think you need to find a balance with IG and not put all your heart in it. It’s just an app after all and we shouldn’t making a fuss about it 🙂


  12. Han says

    I can’t even express how much I love this post. I’ve definitely fallen victim to letting Instagram control the way I feel and what I do. In the past 6 months or so, I’ve really noticed how much Instagram has been negatively impacting my mental health – but as a blogger I need to be active…right?

  13. Lauren Elena says

    Yup I definitely think there are negative aspects to it and that comparison is inevitable. I try not to focus on what I don’t like about it and instead focus on what I do like. I do have a little bit of fun with it. I’m starting to get more into it lately so now, going forward, I’ll have to strike the right balance with it.

  14. Bex says

    Such an important post! I’m going to say when I read this I instantly thought of the younger generation of teens – but really we’ve all been guilty of this at least once in our lives.

    I think the fog clears for everyone eventually, and people realise at their own pace that social media only has control if you let it. For me it was facebook and twitter, I would read tweets and be paranoid that they were about me, or if less than 20 people liked my profile picture – I’d delete it because I thought “well i must look ugly”. These days I don’t take it so seriously. In fact, I hardly share pictures of myself at all, mainly because I feel like I don’t need a like to validate me, and if I started to post selfies on the regular I could get caught up in that world again.

    Great post, and apologies for the rambly comment!

  15. Deborah Wyatt says

    I’m lucky I’m old, as I’m in my 40s I just don’t care if people like my things or not, I don’t put thing out there for them, I do it for me. The photos I put up are my journey through life, travels, surgeries everything. It’s a diary of photos for myself. Same as my blog, it’s a cathartic way of expressing myself. And it’s hugely freeing.
    Having said that though, I have daughter’s and they all struggle with feeling inadequate over looking others so called perfect lives, and envy at lifestyles they haven’t got x

  16. Boxnip says

    I don’t have to worry about this because I have no IRL friends on Instagram. Acquaintances yes, but nope, no friends. So it really doesn’t affect me. Although it might sound sad, I think I am better off for it as Instagram is just something that I scroll through, I like/comment on posts and share my own posts & that is it. I can obviously see how it could potentially negatively impact someone’s life though and especially their mental health. 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip

  17. Chloe Chats says

    Theres definitely negative things about Instagram, but I suppose that’s the same with all the social media’s! I actually don’t use Instagram that much, so I probably don’t see the negative to it as much, but I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve scrolled through and been envious but even when I see my friends post and I didn’t know they were going out without me I don’t think too much into it to be fair, we can all have separate times from each other especially if it’s a big group of friends!

    Chloe xx

  18. Lizzie Bee says

    Oh my gosh, I totally relate to that last one… Recently I’ve only been going out and doing things like afternoon tea for the blog/insta pic, when this didn’t really cross my mind before. I’ve been trying to get better at it but then I thought – why should I stress about this? It isn’t entirely bad to want to take photos whenever you go out! So now I don’t mind that I’m going out as much for the insta pic – as long as I’m having fun doing it!

  19. Sarah says

    This is such a great post and you make such important points, especially about jealousy which I know I struggle with on the ‘gram. But like you say we don’t know each other’s struggles or measures of success. I guess all we can do is try to rise above the pettiness and see beyond the perfect, curated feeds.

    Sarah x

  20. Evie says

    This was such a good post, I think for a lot of people they spend too much time on Instagram and do let the little things build up. I have had the thoughts of ‘my friends didn’t comment on this big life thing’ but it is probably down to the algorithm and if you really wanted your friend to know about it you would text or call them. My closest friends are the ones I have the least photos with because when we meet up the focus is on what we’re doing and catching up on life.

    • whatabigailsays says

      Yeah I find I’m the same! I just think Instagram makes it very easy for you to feel like a failure in every aspect and that’s why I don’t spend a lot of time over there!

  21. Ruth says

    I watched a documentary on Netflix called Social Animals at the weekend and it made me think about a few of these points, so I loved reading your perspective on it. I don’t think it’s done damage to my friendships personally (probably an age thing), but I understand that the potential is there. Before I deleted my account, I did find myself worrying about the fact I was missing people’s posts and if they’d think I wasn’t supporting them enough, even though it was just that Instagram’s algorithm meant they were missing from my feed.

  22. Alexandra Wrigley says

    You have definitely raised valid points in this post. A lot of people especially the Millenials now are becoming too obsessed with instagram. I’ve experienced being out with friends for food and they immediately want to post onto instagram into another world. I loose so much conversation over them taking photos and talking about instagram, time becomes boring. It’s frustrating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2021 What Abigail Says · Theme by 17th Avenue