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Instagram Users Less Interested In Controversial Images

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People are not interested in political or controversial images on Instagram Wikimedia Commons
People are not interested in political or controversial images on Instagram Wikimedia Commons
  • Recent study says, Instagram users don’t like to engage with controversial images
  • People see Instagram more as a way of escaping from the ‘real world’
  • Users prefer ‘clean images’

The majority of Instagram users are drawn to the popular photo-sharing platform for social news and entertainment, and they are less likely to engage with political or controversial images, says a study.

Instagram users are not interested in controversial images. Pixabay
Instagram users are not interested in controversial images. Pixabay

“The reasons that users avoid political or controversial news photos are multifaceted,” said T.J. Thomson, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri in the US.

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“Some users said they felt badly about ‘liking’ a photo of a tragedy while others said they turn to other sources when they seek serious news stories,” he added.

“Many people view Instagram as an oasis where they can escape from the troubles and concerns of everyday life,” Thomson said.

In the study, published in the journal Visual Communication Quarterly, the researchers identified three user groups that emerged from the study’s sample.

Some Instagram users feel guilt on liking pics of tragedies. Wikimedia Commons
Some users feel guilt on liking pics of tragedies. Wikimedia Commons

Feature lovers, who mostly engaged with exciting photos that showcase adventure and travel. News hounds, who engaged most strongly with photos concerning politics and global culture; and optimists, who engaged with uplifting, positive and funny images.

While the majority of users in the groups preferred feature images to news images, the researchers found that news images can garner strong engagement if they are presented in ways both aesthetically pleasing and empowering.

“Most users in our study preferred simple, clean images,” said Keith Greenwood, Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Missouri.

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 Many Instagram users use the app to escape from harsh realities of life. VOA
Many Instagram users use the app to escape from harsh realities of life. VOA

“So news organisations might draw in more engagement from users if they post images that are representative of the story they’re telling, but are still friendly to the eye,” Greenwood said. IANS

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Instagram Helps Women to Overcome Miscarriage Distress: Study

The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians

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Instagram
As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage. Pixabay

Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says.

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that the content posted by Instagram users included rich descriptions of the medical and physical experiences of miscarriage, and the emotional spectrum of having a miscarriage and coping with those emotions, the social aspect, and family identity.

“I find it endlessly fascinating that women are opening up to essentially strangers about things that they hadn’t even told their partners or families,” says Dr. Riley. “But this is how powerful this community is,” said Amy Henderson Riley, Assistant Professor at the Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, US.

The findings are based on a qualitative research study on 200 posts of text and pictures shared by Instagram users.

“What surprised me the most was how many women and their partners identified as parents after their miscarriage and how the miscarriage lasted into their family identity after a successful pregnancy,” said Rebecca Mercier, Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University.

“The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians,” Mercier said.

These personal accounts also provided insight into patients’ perspectives of typically defined experiences.

For example, in the clinic, the typical definition of recurrent pregnancy loss is after three pregnancies. However, the researchers found that many patients who had had two or more miscarriages identified with having recurrent pregnancy loss.

Instagram
Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says. Pixabay

“I’m hoping that this study will encourage clinicians to point patients to social media as a potential coping tool, as well as to approach this subject with bereaved and expecting parents with more respect and empathy,” Mercier said.

Social media is becoming a common avenue for patient testimonials. For example, the short video-sharing platform TikTok has recently become a home for some users to make videos sharing their personal health struggles.

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“As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage,” Riley said.

“But this is a drop in the bucket. Social media platforms are evolving rapidly and a theoretically grounded research must follow,” she added. (IANS)