This is why you’re so obsessed with watching your Instagram story over and over again

Wow, I’m so vain

Instagram stories are the greatest thing to happen to social media, honestly if they were removed I would delete Instagram. Seeing what people eat, drink, binge watch and do with their time is my favourite hobby.

And let’s admit it, we all watch our own Instagram stories back far more than anyone else’s. Whether it’s a selfie, a brunch boomerang or a night out video we’re obsessed with seeing them again and again. But why?

There’s two main theories about why we are so obsessed with rewatching our own stories – the looking glass theory and the performance theory.

This isn’t even about checking who has seen your Instagram story, (no the guy who ghosted you still hasn’t watched it). This is purely reliving the beauty of your own story.

This is why you always rewatch your Instagram stories:

The Looking Glass Theory

According to Dr. Alison Fort, it’s due to a psychological concept called “the looking glass factor”. This is essentially the theory that a large part of our sense of self comes from how we think others perceive us.

Dr. Forte says when looking at Instagram stories we’re using it to inform our identity.

She said: “Applied to repeatedly viewing Instagram stories, it is possible that people are viewing how they look and what they said or did to inform their self-identity,

“For example, if they watch a story where they determine they look good, were funny or thoughtful, and others would probably rate them positively, they might repeatedly view that story to reinforce a positive aspect of their identity in which they have value, worth, and other people accept them.”

So when you look banging on a night out you will rewatch it as you think other people would probably rate how good you look, and therefore you want to remind yourself of how positively other people think of you.

The performance theory

Dr. Kent Bausman has another theory to why we’re so obsessed and it’s all to do with reflecting and performance. “Dramaturgy” is the idea of looking at human behaviour like actors performing on a stage.

When we’re in the outside world and interact with others that’s our “front stage performance” as we’re essentially acting out a certain self to everyone. But when we get home and we’re alone that’s our “backstage”.

According to Dr. Bausman the invention of social media means there’s less of a barrier between our front and backstage performances. Instagram stories allow us to show off a more realistic version of ourselves.

But it’s also about reflecting as well. Dr. Bausman also said: “It’s a way to reflect again on the presentation of myself in the virtual world.”

So it’s all to do with inward reflection and not reliving how hilarious I am on my finsta? Who would have guessed.

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