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The Instagram effect: Instagram and loss of agency

Faculty Advisor




Instagram, social media, agency

Abstract (summary)

Throughout this paper, I analyze the deterministic aspects of Instagram and how those aspects affect agency. The meaning of Instagram is dependent on the creators of the app themselves. By placing Instagram on a spectrum, on the one hand, the reader can see that this app is a tool that can stratify the human need for social communication; on the other hand, it can see how its deterministic abilities affect both our mental and physical health. This shows through the relationships users build through the screen which are in-genuine relationships, ones that can lead to a loss of individual agency and freedom. The deterministic aspects of Instagram are further reinforced through the idea of techno-social engineering where it can be shown how social media applications can change the behaviour and feelings of their users simply through the posts they are exposed to. Lastly, the device paradigm in relation to Instagram as a deterministic tool showcases how the backgrounds and contexts of devices are becoming increasingly concealed and separated from our daily life. This results in a deterioration of genuine interactions within the physical environment and further reinforces the existence of the app that is constructed based on the creators and what they would like to accomplices. As a result, Instagram is a deterministic tool that is detrimental to our individual agency.

Publication Information

Tharani, Alim. 2021. "The Instagram Effect: Instagram and Loss of Agency." Crossing Borders: Student Reflections on Global Social Issues 3(1). doi:10.31542/cb.v3i1.2249


Item Type

Student Article




Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)