Kaylor,  Kristen  Jo  

Ashlyn  Walden  |  UWRT  1104  

Comment [1]: Your  whole  paper  was  very  good  and  
well  rounded.  You  covered  everything  with  large  
amount  of  detail  and  made  it  easy  to  follow.  It  was  
good  how  you  wrote  the  study  very  comprehensive.  

A  DEEPER  LOOK  
INTO  INSTAGRAM

 

University  of  North  Carolina  at  Charlotte  
 

 

 

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

 
Introduction:  
Instead of working on this paper as I should be right now, I am scrolling through
Instagram. It’s 11AM on a Monday and as I scroll I can already see 20 posts just this morning.
Although these posts vary, at least half of the post are naming someone as their man crush
Monday (#mcm.) This shows that even early on Monday mornings, people are posting photos as
they wake up, has this become a habit? As a user of Instagram, I view between one and two
hundred photos daily. I am biased on the topic of Instagram because I am a very active user. I
spend around an hour a day scrolling through other people’s posts. I would say, on average, I
post a photo every three days. It would be very hard for me to stay off of Instagram for a month,
as I am asking the interviewees to do. One of my main reasons for choosing Instagram is because
I want to know why I spend so much of my time on it. This project and my raw data observations
really opened my eyes to the amount of time and effort that my generation puts into social media,
particularly Instagram.  
Instagram, a photo sharing app, began taking over the realm of social media on October
6th, 2010 and had more than one million users by December 12, 2010. Instagram was co-founded
by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, two Stanford University graduates. The user gets to chose
between a public and a private profile. Private meaning that only their followers can see and
interact with their posts. Public meaning that any user can see and interact with their posts. A
person’s followers can “like” or “comment” on posts as they please. In December of 2013 a new
feature was added, “Instagram Direct”, which lets users privately message others. Eleven months
after Instagram launched, it reached ten million users. Today, it has over four hundred million

Comment [2]: you  explain  well  how  you  are  biased  but  I  
don't  know  how  this  well  affect  the  study.  It  might  help  
to  tell  how  you  being  such  an  active  user  will  affect  the  
study  like  maybe  you  will  interpret  the  interviews  with  a  
grain  of  salt  because  you  use  instagram  so  much  
yourself.  This  will  give  the  reader  a  better  
understanding  on  the  role  you  play  with  the  study  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

users. This goes to show how quickly Instagram grew into one of the most used social
networking sites in the world. Over forty billion photos have been shared since Instagram has
been launched and eighty million photos are posted daily.  
This paper considers why teenagers spend hours upon hours posting (captioned) photos
from their lives to share with their followers. More specifically, I want to explore: 1) Why has
this app become so popular among the younger generations so quickly? 2) What are the positive
and negative impacts of social media on young users? And 3) Has Instagram become a habit
rather than an interest? I am going to conduct a study to answer all of these questions.  
 

Comment [3]: You  explain  what  you  want  to  do  with  the  
paper  well  but  the  numbered  points  is  a  little  
unprofessional  .  It  may  be  a  good  idea  to  rework  it  so  it  
flows  better  and  isn't  so  choppy.  If  you  can  it  will  flow  
better  and  look  more  professional  and  smooth.  

Entering the Conversation:  
After taking a deeper look into Instagram, many of our questions are left unanswered.
Does Instagram have an impact on the way people view themselves? Is Instagram a source of
social media that is used for fun, or is it a habit (take a photo, post it on Instagram)? Now that
we have seen some of the impacts of Instagram, I will be developing a study to answer why users
are so attracted to an app on their phone.  
This study will be comprised of two interviews and a challenge to not use Instagram; this
way we will see the broad view and we can find out about not only those who use Instagram
daily, but also about those who have accounts but do not use it as often. There will be six
different interview groups consisting of five people in each group, for a total of 30 participants.
The groups will be separated by those who post on Instagram daily, weekly, and monthly (or
less). These groups will range in age (13-60), amount of followers (0-2000) they have, and be
grouped according to males and females. I chose the age range because the minimum age is 13 to

Comment [4]: I  think  you  should  add  a  little  more  to  this  
sentence/paragraph.  What  impacts  are  you  talking  
about?  The  fact  that  the  program  has  400  million  users,  
or  is  it  the  fact  that  people  spend  a  lot  of  their  time  on  
it?  I  feel  like  some  people  reading  this  may  have  to  ask  
themselves  what  you  were  talking  about.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

be a user of Instagram and not many people over the age of 60 are users. I chose the amount of
followers to be 0-2000 because 0 is the minimum amount of followers and the average user does
not have over 2000 followers. The reasoning behind the separate groups for men and women are:
women are more susceptible to bullying, women are more likely to be affected by their amount
of likes and followers, and simply so we can compare the two genders. The participants will be
separated into groups of five, but each person will be interviewed separately so that their answers
will not be swayed by their group member’s answers. During the first interview each person will
be asked a series of ten questions listed below.  
1.   Do you like Instagram, why or why not?
2.   Have you ever been bullied on Instagram (i.e. a mean or degrading comment on one of
your posts)? If so, how were you affected by what was said and do you think that if you
would have seen that person in public that they would have said it to your face or do you
think that they would only say it behind the protection of their screen?
3.   How often do you post a photo on Instagram and how much time, on average, do you
spend looking at other people’s photos?
4.   When do you use Instagram and is there a specific amount of time of day that you have
designated to spending scrolling through and/or posting on Instagram?
5.   What would you say your average amount of likes is and how would you feel if this
number was cut in half on the next photo that you posted?
6.   When you receive more likes than you normally get, how does this make you feel?
7.   Would you say Instagram helps to boost your self-esteem?
8.   Off the top of your head, do you know the most likes you have gotten on something that
you have posted?

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

9.   Do you take photos with the intent of posting them on Instagram? If so, why? If not, do
you post them on another source of social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.)?
10.  Out of ten separate occasions that photos are taken at, how many of those would you say
you would post on your Instagram?
I will audio record the interviews during the process. After the interviews are over I will
transcribe the data. Then I will code the data to find common answers to make reviewing the data
easier.  
After the first set of interviews are finished, the interviewer will challenge the interviewees to
not use Instagram for a month. I will check in with each interviewee weekly to make sure each
person is sticking to the challenge. Since there is no real way to monitor whether or not each
person is scrolling on Instagram, this will be based mostly on trusting that the Interviewees will
not cheat on this challenge. If they cannot make it the entire month without looking at the app,
we hope that they will let us know. After a month has passed, they will come back in for a
second interview. This time there will be five new questions.  
The new set of questions will be as follows:  
1.   After not using Instagram for a month, did you miss it? If so, what did you miss about it?
2.   Did you find yourself wanting to get on Instagram often? If so, what did you do instead?
3.   Will you go back to using Instagram as much as you did before this study was conducted,
why or why not?
4.   If you answered yes to “does Instagram help boost your self-esteem,” how did it make
you feel to not have that boost for a month? Did you find another way to boost your
confidence level?

Comment [5]: The  second  interview  is  crucial  to  finalize  
the  result  of  your  study  and  while  it  is  incorporated  the  
amount  of  questions  are  limited.  You  stated  previously  
that  you  hope  they  tell  you  if  the  challenge  of  staying  
off  Instagram  isn't  completed  but  you  don't  state  what  
you  would  do  if  it  happens.  Neither  do  any  of  the  
questions  address  the  probable  fact  that  someone  
didn't  complete  the  study.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

5.   Did you take less photos in the last month, or did you take the same amount and not post
them?
Just like the first interview, I will audio record the interviews during the process. After the
interviews are over I will transcribe the data. Then I will code the data to find common answers
to make reviewing the data easier.  
After collecting these two sets of data from the thirty interviewees, we will have a better idea
of why people use Instagram, if it is something they are programmed to do, and how it affects
one’s mindset. We will have a better idea as to whether Instagram really is shaping today’s
youth. The men’s answers will be compared to the women’s answers to see if one gender is more
affected by the use of Instagram. Is looking at Instagram a habit and can it be broken simply by
the realization of this habit? This study will help to answer many of the worlds unanswered
questions about Instagram.  
 
Literature Review:  
When Instagram started, it was an instant hit with people everywhere. It quickly became
popular and in its first year running it was named Apple’s App of the year. It drew people not
only because of the photo aspect of it, but also because of the social aspect. (Sullivan, Lines 816) Every source of media has positive and negative sides. The majority of teenagers use media
every day, and they acquire many things through just looking at their screens. Image and beauty
standards are created through media and it can sometimes glorify negative behavior, but media
can help teenagers develop social skills (Mokeyane, 1-3). A woman, Alina saw a photo that she
took in 2008 and her first thought was to post it on Instagram. Times are so different now than

Comment [6]: What  happens  if  someone  ends  up  
breaking  and  getting  on  to  the  site?  There  should  be  an  
extra  paragraph  and  extra  set  of  questions  that  pertains  
to  those  who  didn't  make  it  through  the  month.  Ask  
them  what  made  them  finally  get  back  on  and  check?  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

they were then because of social media. Before social media people took photos for no reason.
Now it seems like every time someone takes a photo, they do so with the intent to post it on
Instagram to share with all of their followers (Selyukh, Lines 10-12).  
There are many unexplored aspects of Instagram. Some of these unexplored aspects are
the photo categories, the types of users, and their audience (followers). It was discovered that
there are eight categories of photos including: friends, food, captioned photos (embedded text),
pet, activity, selfie, and fashion. It was also discovered that there are five different types of
Instagram users which include: one who posts almost all self portraits, one who post mostly
photos with embedded text, one who posts slightly more photos of food, they also post in other
categories, one who post about their friends as much as they post about themselves, and one
other. These categories correspond with a person’s entropy level (Hu, 3). When asked about
Instagram, many teens reply that it is “a way to show yourself.” People post photos about their

Comment [7]: You  say  how  these  are  all  unexplored  
aspects  but  how  do  you  know  them?  are  these  areas  
ideas  people  are  trying  to  incorporate  in  instagram.  I'm  
confused  how  this  works  and  how  it  flows  with  the  rest  
of  the  paper.  

lives and add a caption to them. Grace says: “I Instagram everything.” (Graham Lines 10-11).
Do teenagers like social media that much?  
According to a massive survey, one in three teens said they like social media. Meaning
that it is being seen as a utility instead of a luxury. Instagram and other social media devices are
not something todays youth “loves to do” but instead something that they feel as if they have to

Comment [8]: In  what  ways  is  social  media  a  Utility?  
How  is  it  useful  to  teenagers?  What  services  does  it  
provide  for  them?  

do. Two of three students said they are multi-tasking while doing homework. Teenagers spend
up to nine hours a day using technology and it is shaping their lives (Steyer, Lines 1-15). This
makes teens way more susceptible to bullying. Bullying has moved from in person to online and
how it was increased dramatically. 95% of teenagers are online in America and are susceptible to
cyberbullying. Many cyber bullies do not even consider the possibility of being caught because

Comment [9]: There's  a  weird  transition  here.  Going  
from  talking  about    Social  media  being  a  utility  vs.  a  
luxury  to  cyberbullying.    I  feel  like  these  2  topics  maybe  
should  be  broken  up,  especially  because  to  some  
cyberbullying  is  a  very  sensitive  and  serious  subject.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

adults are ignoring it. Instagram is one of the places these researchers mention as a place where
cyberbullying often occurs (Hinduja, 3-5).  
Social Media can be positive too. Tweens and teens engaging in social media are not just
posting a photo and calling it a day. They are interacting with each other, developing their
socialization and communication skills. Their artistic sides are being challenging and coming out
through taking the photos that they post. Social media can also help one’s self-image (O’Keefe,
Lines 1-10). The selfie is a new genre of art and photography. Selfies are widespread across
social media today. The point of a selfie is to be taken and seen quickly on social media. Almost
everyone you know has taken a selfie. This is one thing that we do now that could classify this
nation as a narcissistic one (Saltz, 2). Likes and followers have come prominent and relevant in
one’s every day life, especially for young females. Likes have a way of making people feel better
about themselves. Nancy interviewed girls for two and a half years, she interviewed over 200
girls to get a good idea of what she was going to write her book about. Nancy states: "I think a
lot of people are not aware of how the atmosphere has really changed in social situations ... in
terms of how the girls are treated and how the boys behave," (Sales, Lines 14-15).  
Social Media, particularly Instagram, is part of the new life style that young adults are
now living. The use of Instagram has turned into a habit. “I scroll through Instagram when I am
bored” shows that Instagram is an afterthought. (Carswell) Are young adults in this generation
programmed to check social media?  
 
Conclusion:  
Going into this project, I knew I wanted to research the time spent on Instagram. I

Comment [10]: This  paragraph  seems  to  come  to  a  
conclusion  of  one  of  your  questions,  where  you  stated  
"The  use  of  Instagram  has  turned  into  a  habit"  This  
paragraph  could  fit  well  into  conclusion  since  it  has  
answer  to  one  of  your  questions.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

transformed that into three focus questions: 1) Why has this app become so popular among the
younger generations so quickly? 2) What are the positive and negative impacts of social media
on young users? And 3) Has Instagram become a habit rather than an interest? The results of the
study I designed will show the users of Instagram why we spend so much time on this app. It
may cut down the time people spend on the app if the results came back and said that it is
negatively affecting the minds it’s users. The people who are spending so much of their free-time
on Instagram are the future of America. The way these young people are learning to
communicate online could shape the future. Since Instagram is such a vital part of every day, it is
setting the tone for the way we live.  
This research is important because if the results come back and say that spending said
amount of time on Instagram has negative effects then maybe people would start to consider
reducing the amount of time they spend on the app. Results such as a decreased memory span,
decreased communication skills, being more susceptible to cyber-bullying, etc. could lead users
to make a change. This study is important because right now there are few published studies
showing any type of impacts coming from time spent on social media and the realization of this
could open eyes of users around the world.  
Now that we know its impacts on the users, we can go even further and study if it has
different impacts on different age groups. Since an overwhelming majority of Instagram users
still have developing brains, is it affecting them differently than it is effecting everyone else who
uses Instagram? We can also research if the different age groups are using Instagram at different
rates (i.e. do the younger age groups spend more of their free-time on social media than the older
age groups and why?) To do this we can interview different age groups and study those results.
My study was just the beginning, and from here it can go in many different directions.  

Comment [11]: How  your  results  will  affect  future  things  
is  incredibly  intriguing  and  correct  but  I  am  struggling  to  
see  how  your  experiment  will  show  some  of  these  
things.  Is  their  a  way  that  you  can  explain  how  certain  
results  can  show  certain  aspects  such  as  decreased  
memory  span.  By  doing  so  the  experiment  becomes  
increasingly  prominent  and  thought  provoking.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

Works Cited:  
Carswell, Brooke Ashley. "Instagram." Interview by Kristen Jo Kaylor. Feb. 2016.  
Graham, Trey. "Teens Find The Right Tools For Their Social-Media Jobs." NPR. NPR, 17 June
2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.  
Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. "Cyberbullying Prevention and Response."
Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, & Response (2014): n. pag. Cyberbullying:
Identification, Prevention, & Response. Oct. 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.  
Hu, Yuheng, Lydia Manikonda, and Subbarao Kambhampati. What We Instagram: A First
Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types (n.d.): n. pag. What We Instagram:
A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.  
Mokeyane, K. Nola. "Media's Positive and Negative Influence on Teenagers." Everyday LifeGlobal Post (2015): 1-3. Mayfield Schools. Mayfield Schools, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 13
Mar. 2016.  
O'Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "The Impact of Social Media on
Children, Adolescents, and Families." The Impact of Social Media on Children,
Adolescents, and Families. Council on Communications and Media, Apr. 2011. Web.
13 Mar. 2016.  
Sales, Nancy Jo. "Teen Girls And Social Media: A Story Of 'Secret Lives' And Misogyny." NPR.
NPR, 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.  
Saltz, Jerry. "Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie." Art at Arm’s Length: A History of
the Selfie (2014): n. pag. 26 Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.  

Comment [12]: Holistic  praise:  
Overall  your  paper  is  well  thought  out  and  asks  good  
questions  that  may  be  useful  to  us  some  time  in  the  
future.  You  never  had  a  section  where  I  was  reading  
and  had  no  idea  what  you  were  talking  about.  You  also  
did  a  wonderful  job  of  summarizing  your  sources,  they  
give  the  main  points  to  your  research.  

A  Deeper  Look  into  Instagram  

 

Kristen  Jo  Kaylor  

Selyukh, Alina. "This Thanksgiving, Struggling To Skip The Instagram Obsession." NPR. NPR,
26 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.  
Steyer, Jim. "Survey Finds Teens Spend Wealth Of Time With Screens." NPR. NPR, 09 Nov.
2015. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.  
Sullivan, Becky. "Instagram's Winning Recipe: Images And Social Media." NPR. NPR, 25 Dec.
2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.