Instagram and TikTok Hurt Happiness and Finances, Survey Finds

woman stressing

A new study has found that Instagram and TikTok make one in three adults feel negative about their finances.

According to a new survey conducted by Bankrate, 34 percent of adults who have social media say they have felt negative about their finances after seeing others’ posts.

The harmful impact of Instagram and other apps on people’s happiness has been explored in several previous studies. However, Bankrate’s poll found that social media tends to make users feel negatively about their wallets more than any other aspect of their lives, from their appearances (32 percent) and careers (27 percent) to their living situations (26 percent), personal relationships (25 percent), and hobbies (17 percent).

Young people are most affected by social media, according to the new report by Bankrate that was published yesterday. Nearly half of Generation Z and millennial social media users feel negative about their finances after seeing others’ posts, more than any other generation. That compares with nearly a third of Generation X (31 percent for those between 42 and 57) and more than a fifth of baby boomers (22 percent for those between the ages of 58 and 76).

The pressures of social media consequently lead 46 percent of Gen Z and 38 percent of millennials, to make Instagram and TikTok posts that make them appear successful in the eyes of others.

“Social media distorts reality in the sense that people put their best foot forward and sometimes portray unrealistic versions of themselves,” says Bankrate industry analyst, Ted Rossman.

“You don’t know if someone took on a lot of debt to fund the amazing vacation or the perfectly put-together outfit depicted in their photos. This can lead to a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ kind of competition among friends and acquaintances,” adds Rossman.

Social media also impacts consumers’ spending habits, according to the study, with nearly half of users admitting to making an impulse purchase based on a sponsored post. Nearly half of social media users have made an impulse purchase of a product they saw on social media and more than 64 percent regretted it.

“As we scroll through our feeds, we can get jealous of what other people have,” Rossman says. “We may feel like we can overcome that by overspending to put forth an unrealistic version of ourselves which we hope will impress others.”

The new survey comes after Instagram’s announcement that they have added the ability to make purchases from businesses directly through chats on the app. In the same thread, businesses on Instagram will be able to confirm purchases, create payment requests, and collect payment.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.