Is my Instagram explore page rotting my brain?

Kerri Shea, Advertising Manager

Trust me when I say I could spend hours scrolling through the videos that were selected for my explore page on Instagram. Everyone’s pages look different, but mine, in particular, is questionable. There are a ton of those five-minute craft videos, alongside random videos of One Direction from 2014, and dare I say, pimple-popping videos. While I could spend far too much time watching these videos, my roommate has expressed her concern about them. She might be right, as I use these mind-numbing videos to procrastinate doing things that have value to my life, but I see them as a simple, maybe questionable, escape. 

Allegedly, Instagram explore pages are catered to what you specifically view online, which makes what I see all that much more complex. I don’t recall ever looking up how to make a necklace out of paperclips, yet because of this app, I know how I could if need be. The only one I could understand is the One Direction clips, as I’m guilty of regressing and watching videos of the band performing. What can I say? It heals the soul. As for the rancid (to some) reels that are presented to me, I can proudly say I have never been on the hunt for those in particular. 

It only came to my roommate’s attention when she caught me slacking off. Presumably, it was on one of the nights we planned to dedicate to work, yet I ended up twiddling my thumbs and getting sucked into this void of videos. She claims these clips are rotting my brain, though I believe that they’re simply a way to pass time. Hey, if it’s amusing me, why question it? The accounts on Instagram post things like this for a reason. They know that people will watch it, barely pay attention, and see something the least bit shocking and continue to scroll. Fooled me quite a few times.  

There’s nothing in my life that these videos have truly contributed to. Sure, throughout the past 10 or so years I’ve had an Instagram account, I’ve found a few hacks that I’ve utilized, such as fixing a pull on a sweater or making sure my soap doesn’t spill in my bag, but many of them are created for the shock factor. Of course, the one my roommate saw me watching in awe was a video of a shoe that didn’t fit, so the perfect solution was to color in the rest of the foot to match the shoe. I know, genius! This one doesn’t entirely support my argument but was necessary for context. 

Personally, I find these senseless posts to be enjoyable. This being said, I obviously believe they’re useless, but still, fun. What else is social media for? One could argue that my own personal Instagram posts are killing my follower’s brain cells, and I’d probably agree, but it’s still for personal entertainment, as are many things online. Take podcasts for example. Some are very educational and provide great insight on topics that should be explored, but others are simple opinionated people ranting into a microphone awaiting external validation. Not saying Dr. Pimple Popper on Instagram is controversial, but she targets a specific audience. Meaningless posts make up a large portion of social media, and if some futile videos are the most of my concerns, then I think I’ll be okay.