The dark side of Instagram

If you have an Instagram account then there is a good chance that you follow someone that could be classed as an ‘influencer’. What this term is describing is someone who has the power to sway public opinion based on their perceived thoughts and values on Instagram. An example of this would be if Justin Bieber were to declare something a new fashion trend. He could do this by posting pictures of himself wearing it all over his page and then all of a sudden we could see a lot of the younger generation and his followers trying to copy the trend. This is what is meant by being an influencer: when you have a popular following on Instagram and it seems as if you have the ability to sway public opinion to a certain degree. However, is the follower count on Instagram as accurate as it seems?

When 100k isn’t 100k

When looking at whom to follow on Instagram, people are more likely to follow someone who already has a mass of followers compared to following someone with very little. When someone has a lot of followers, it makes you think their content is good, and that if a lot of people already feel they are benefitting by following them/enjoy seeing their posts, you probably will too. However, nowadays there are common ways for people to cheat Instagram by following fake followers. This is similar to what search engine optimization (or SEO) experts are calling “black-hat” tactics, which means that these methods are usually considered dishonest and is frowned upon by Google as an attempt to cheat the algorithm for good content. Google is becoming better and better at seeking out these tactics and finding out when it is going out. Once the search engine decides to penalize you, there is a hefty price to pay for using such foul play tactics. They can take a lot of ranking points away from your site if there is evidence that you have been using black-hat SEO tactics to rise up the ranks. When it comes to Instagram, beating the game means accumulating followers that you do not really have. This is considered a tactic of black-hat social media.

Social media is a great way to give publicity to your own brand or product as the whole world is able to see it. Social media plays a large part in younger people’s lives as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other similar platforms grow in size. However, on Instagram what may seem popular may actually be all smoke and mirrors. There are apps out there that allow people to buy fake followers which are bot pages to inflate the following the user seems that have. This means that someone with 100k followers may only have 10,000 real people whereas the rest are bots that are boosting his follow count. The main reason for adding bots is to seem more popular and therefore attempt to attract others to follow you as they would hopefully just come to the conclusion that if the page is good enough for 100,000 other people, it is good enough for them.

Why do they say fake it until you make it?

From personal experience and knowing someone who is starting to become an Instagram influencer, adding bots at the beginning was a helpful tactic to make their page seem more popular and that exponentially grew the rate at which actual people would follow them. So in the early stages of the social media game this could be a good idea from that stand point. It can help to grow your following faster than if you waited for users to follow you as they may not think your page is worthwhile if you have minimal followers, even though the case may be that you are just new to Instagram and not that you are a lackluster individual. There is a lot to think about in the social media world and the pros and cons of black-hat SEO tactics.

Risks of binge drinking

There are many reasons people find themselves with alcohol in their system. Sometimes it’s at a party where everyone is having a fun time and being social. Other times it might be a relaxing night in and a way to unwind. Whatever the reason may be, many situations where alcohol is present can seem harmless to most. However, sometimes these situations can lead to an over consumption of alcohol which is described by the term binge drinking. Heavy consumption of alcohol on a consistent basis can take a toll on your body, this toll can lead to some serious short term and long term consequences. Once an addiction has started it can be hard to pull away from it, make sure if you know someone heading down this road that you get them the effective alcohol treatment they need.

Short term consequences of binge drinking

Even when people decide to binge drink for one night, there can still be short term consequences to their actions. The worst of these, of course, being that the drinking causes a fatality. This could range from having too much alcohol present in your system, or that a drunk driving accident is caused by being way too intoxicated. Or irrational decisions being made while feeling fearless under the influence of alcohol. The statistics below indicate how large of a problem alcohol is across the United States.

  • Every year at least 10,000 people die in drunk driving incidents.
  • Acute alcohol poisoning kills over 1,000 people each year.
  • In one year 18,146 people died of alcoholic liver disease
  • In one year there were 29,001 alcohol-induced deaths (excluding accidents and homicides)

These figures are the cold hard facts behind binge drinking and the serious effects it can have on your body and your life. Not only this, but the consequences of binge drinking can affect innocent people who do not deserve to be drawn into such situations. The main example being drunk driving accidents which have killed people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are many reasons why people may feel they need to binge drink. Although whatever someone’s personal reasons may be, when you look at the statistics and the amount of deaths from alcohol, it is clearly not worth the risk. If you think you know someone who could benefit from an individualized addiction treatment method, do not be embarrassed to reach out to treatment facilities to try and find the care and attention your loved one deserves. Alcohol addiction only grows if it is not treated correctly and even if the short term consequences do not kill someone, the long term consequences most definitely can.

Long term consequences of binge drinking

Not only can binge drinking have some serious effects during and right after, it can have prolonged serious effects on your body and mind. Even though it is a widely accepted substance, alcohol is still a drug in its own right. It is highly addictive and once someone develops a habit of heavy alcohol consumption it can be very hard for them to function without it. Not drinking can throw addicts into violent mood swings and give them serious withdrawals. If this is the case, then they have definitely reached a stage where the addiction has manifested itself into the person’s daily routine. Some fatal long term consequences range from liver disease, neurological damage, a higher risk of stroke, high blood pressure, depression and there is a chance of developing cancer. Once you weigh up all these different factors, it becomes evidently clear that whatever your situation may be, using drinking as a coping method is not a smart choice.

Strategies to combat binge drinking

There are many different ways for someone to overcome their alcohol addiction. Some of these options can be way more suited to one type of individual than another. Whichever method someone decides to use the end goal is always the same. Some people feel like enlisting the help of family and friends is a good starting point. This is a way to be held accountable for their actions and a way to feel supported throughout their journey to sobriety. Another method may be picking up a hobby that they are interested in in order to spend more of their time doing something they love. This also goes very well with increasing the amount they exercise as that can lead to higher self-esteem and less negative thoughts. There are also a few holistic recovery program choices if they feel they need further guidance and help along the way. Alcohol is a more dangerous substance than a lot of people think and the road to recovery can be a grueling one. So act now before it is too late!