Adolescents’ Cognitive and Emotional Experiences While Using the Social Network Instagram

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psycology and Educational Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D. Student, Department of Counseling,, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Allameh Tabatabaei, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this study was to assess and identify the cognitive and emotional experiences of adolescents’ use of Instagram using a phenomenological method. The sample consisted of twelve adolescents (seven females and five males) in Tehran. Recruitment was conducted from December to January 2022 using random selection. First, the Internet Addiction Test (Young, 1998) was administered. Those who scored from “moderate” to “severe on” this test were recruited for the study (Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using Colaizzi’s method. Three main themes emerged from the analyzes: 1) reasons for using Instagram (including subthemes such as entertainment and leisure, exploration, and anxiety), 2) interesting content for adolescents (including subthemes such as education, recreation, and entertainment), and 3) cognitive and emotional experiences (including subthemes such as pleasant experiences and unpleasant experiences). The results suggest that adolescents’ mental health is greatly affected by Instagram social media use. The findings warrant the formulation of educational programs to prepare and protect this population from the negative effects of Instagram use.


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