Mindless social media use is associated with heightened social comparison, and with negative impacts on mood, well-being, and life satisfaction. I hypothesize that a mindful social media intervention will cause decreased levels of social comparison and envy, increased well-being and college life satisfaction, and an increase in overall mindfulness. Data were collected across a span of seven days, during which participants came in for an initial session to receive a mindful Instagram use intervention or a control intervention and complete a battery of questionnaires. For the following six days, intervention participants received daily text reminders to use Instagram mindfully. At the end of the week, participants came back in and completed the same questionnaires. Results revealed that the mindfulness intervention increased participants’ nonjudgement mindfulness from pre- to immediate post-intervention. No significant changes between pre-intervention and one-week post-intervention were observed. Additional analyses revealed that higher baseline life satisfaction and lower malicious envy among participants predicted more mindful social media use in daily life, according to text data. More daily mindful social media use became related to mindful nonjudgment at the end of the study period. And regression analyses of baseline and follow-up data highlighted mindful nonreactivity as a potential predictor of decreases in problematic Instagram use over time. Because research has consistently found that social media use can be detrimental to mental health, these findings have important implications for the use of mindfulness interventions to lessen the harm of social media sites, particularly Instagram.
Zebroski, Micaela, "The Effects of Mindful Instagram Use on Social Comparison and College Life Satisfaction" (2019). Psychology Honors Papers. 76.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.