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As part of my Final year in BA (Hons) in Communications in Creative Media in DkIT, I am carrying out a social media awareness campaign designed to promote the effects of the Fast Fashion industry to Instagram users and to encourage and teach them how to be more sustainable with their fashion.
I am doing this project with my classmates Rachel Howard and Shannon Tevlin. I am the Web Designer and Graphic Designer for this project.
FINAL YEAR CREATIVE MEDIA GROUP PROJECT:
THE INSTAGRAM USER EXPERIENCE:
AN INVESTIGATION INTO INSTAGRAM USE BY 13-15 YEAR OLD GIRLS
This research investigates into the Instagram user experience for 13-15 year old girls. The chosen age demographic is an especially important time period for girls when developing confidence and a positive body image. Young adolescents are quicker to compare themselves amongst other Instagram accounts in comparison to the unrealistic standards set by models, celebrities etc within traditional forms of media.
Previous research in place demonstrates that Instagram use can have a considerable effect on teenagers concerning body image, self- confidence, mental health, following brands and bloggers, addiction and cyber bullying.
It is important to explore the current culture 13-15 year old girls are living through to improve our understanding. For the purpose of this study, an autoethnography was completed. Furthermore, an interview with a school counsellor was carried out in an Irish secondary school in the midlands.
This qualitative form of research allowed student experiences on Instagram to be analysed without needing to put students in the position to do so.
The conclusion of the analysis finds that 13-15 year old girls feel an addiction and sense of FOMO due to social media. The research also established how the Instagram user experience heightens negative feelings for young teenage girls’ in regard to body image, through an easier ability to draw comparisons on Instagram.
They also feel a need to filter what is being posted in comparison to what is in front of the camera, decreasing their level of self -esteem. With a number of the demographic experiencing cyber bullying, the qualitative data also concludes a need for an increase in social media regulations.
The interview confirmed the key findings that emerged throughout the autoethnographic study.
Keywords: Instagram, Social Media, Body Image, Cyber-bullying, FOMO, Social Media, Addiction, Regulation & Education