With more people using Instagram for interiors inspiration than ever before, it seems the popular picture-based app is giving many of us a serious case of interiors envy, or Home Dysmorphic Disorder…
Instagram and social media is often blamed for the rise in body confidence issues, especially among younger generations, but a new study has found that some 50% of Instagram users in London are unhappy with their homes after scrolling through pictures of other people’s immaculate interiors.
Researchers polled 1,500 adults in the UK who use Instagram for interiors inspiration, and found that just 30% of people in London are completely satisfied with the appearance of their current home.
A whopping 88% of those who are unhappy with their home admit to feeling this way once a month or more after scrolling through Instagram, with 25-34 year olds feeling dissatisfied most frequently.
The findings reveal that people have an unrealistic idea of what their home should look like, feel pressure to maintain a certain appearance in their home, and are self-conscious of it in front of visitors.
This mindset has been described by Chartered Psychologist Dr David Lewis as Home Dysmorphic Disorder (HDD).
‘Our home is our shop window to the world,’ says Dr Lewis. ‘An outward and visible display of the way we want others to see and judge us.
‘This is challenged when we are exposed, especially through social media such as Instagram, to the choices of others.
‘The more comparisons we are able to make with the ways others present themselves to the world, the greater the dissatisfaction we may feel with our own surroundings.
‘The more individuals worry about what friends, neighbours and colleagues think of them, the greater their dissatisfaction.
‘It is an increasingly common mindset that can be described as Home Dysmorphic Disorder.
‘The problem is changing one small item in a room can lead to an overwhelming desire to make major changes.
‘This is sometimes known as the Diderot Effect, after the French writer, which typically starts with discontent about one, often minor, feature – such as an ornament.
‘It then quickly spreads to trigger unhappiness with the whole room or even the entire house.’
The phenomenon effects both genders, but women are 22% more likely to be affected by HDD than men.
Young homeowners are most likely to be dissatisfied with their homes after scrolling through Instagram, with 18-24-year olds being found to be most unhappy with their homes.
Commissioned by leading door and window brand, Origin, the survey found that many people have taken steps to make their home look more ‘Insta-worthy’, such as changing the interior, buying accessories because they will look good on Instagram, or feeling pressure to be tidier.
It is important to remember that the perfect homes we see on Instagram are not always a true reflection of the homes that people live their lives in
‘We know that Instagram is a fantastic tool for gaining inspiration for your house and that many people find the time they spend looking at other people’s homes on the platform a very positive experience,’ said Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin.
‘Indeed, 84% of the people we surveyed feel that social media is useful in giving inspiration and advice on styling their home.
‘However, it is important to remember that the perfect homes we see on Instagram are not always a true reflection of the homes that people live their lives in.
‘Our work is centred around helping people release the living potential of their houses to create a beautiful as well as functional family home. We know how key natural light is for healthy happy homes – and a great Instagram photo – and our products deliver this in abundance.
‘But houses are not just staged Instagram sets, they need to function as working family homes too, and be a great and happy place to live. Our campaign is encouraging people to share un-styled images of their homes using #OriginInstaReality, to help counter feelings of HDD and celebrate family homes in all their real glory.’
The study in numbers
- 36% of those surveyed felt that their home is messier than other people’s or have been self-conscious about people visiting their home as it doesn’t look like something from Instagram
- One in 10 admitted to feeling critical of their own home several times a day after comparing it with other properties on Instagram
- Nearly 15% of people even admitted to falling out with family members in a bid to keep their home looking ‘Insta-worthy’
- London residents spend an average of £528 in a bid to recreate an ‘Insta-Home’ after being inspired by Instagram. Men are likely to splash more cash than women