Well-crafted visual content…to the quote that feels good
On Instagram, accounts promoting a healthy body and a balanced diet are becoming more and more popular. Pretty stagings of an artistic yoga pose, sporty girls and breakfast accompanied with açai bowls and detox juice before discovering an influencer in a swimsuit with a perfect body in a paradise setting are not new things to see.
Beyond these perfect pictures, Instagram users are more and more fond of accounts sharing inspirational quotes, conveying « feel-good » messages and anecdotes in which everyone can recognize themselves. Some text-only post has thousands of like, and almost as many positive comments and thanks.
Accounts like @amours_solitaires count more than 520,000 followers publishing daily love texts, or even Caroline the yogi @theyoginist who accompanies each photo with a body positive mantra, but also professional coaches breaking the taboos of burnouts at work and recently, psychologists or « psy-influencers », helping to fight against anxiety and depression thanks to their instagram posts.
Psychologists on Instagram, really?
We have already seen pastry cooks, architects, sports coaches, so why not psychologists? A rather recent trend, they shine especially in the US. These psychotherapists who have thousands of followers share daily, sometimes poetically, advices and didactics help their Instagram community take care of their mental health. In an article published by NBCNews, we learn that the number of people with depression symptoms is increasing by 52% for teenagers between 2005 and 2017. 18-25 year olds are especially concerned with an increase of 63%.
So naturally follows online psychologists who each address these even more connected generations in their own way. Dr.Nicole LePera @the.holistic.psychologist (568,000 followers) accompanies her followers daily with free psychological advices, whereas @askDrJess proposes weekly live streams in which she answers every question. On the other hand, Lola and Nicole @mytherapistsays use humor to talk about sensitive subjects like anxiety or depression.
Some therapists and specialists like @benoitjacobofficiel or @eva_ledeme have even gone as far as proposing online consultations. Indeed, like for the majority of companies developing an instagram account, even if the goal is to make its community feel good, it stays a driver for the business : new clients, growth on the number of consultations, even the sale of specialized books, etc.
These advices are of some benefit, but for every activity involving an influencer and its community, the impacts shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even more if they’re not shared by a certified professional. Anecdotes and positive thinking quotes will never replace real appointments with a psychotherapist with whom you can have an exchange and a personalized follow-up.
We distinguish two categories of influencers, on one hand there’s certified professionals offering advices, like they could counsel their patients to continue making them feel better, even after a a-session, on the other hand the more « lifestyle » influencers without expertise in psychology and who wants to give happiness to their community without prevailing any expertise.
Instagram and ethics
Whether it’s an influencer promoting the last lap belt, a mom influencer showing a baby product or a psy-influencer giving advice to one of his followers about anxiety, ethics should never be a background when it's about promotion by influencers.
In 2019, WOÔ created its ethics committee in view of following announcers and influencers in their work on social media by creating a « good practice » charter. The example of psychologists working on Instagram is completely in this context. For example, they cannot give personalized advice in DMs or someone should never be advised by a « psy-influencer » if it’s not part of the abilities which he was certified for. The American Psychological Association appears to be working on guidelines to help these new social media therapists.
Meanwhile, if you're searching to adopt a positive attitude or simply searching to change your mind and boost your moody reading « feel good » mantras, here’s some accounts to follow without reserve : @amours_solitaires, @ciaoflamingo, @cpartout, @laissemoitedire.__, @toujours_a_fond.
“Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart