Does influencer culture promote toxic positivity on Instagram? Online Emotional Suppression and Mental Well-being


  • Emma Dietze MacEwan University
  • Elyse Dzenick MacEwan University
  • Sara Halcro MacEwan University


The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in communication through the internet and social media platforms. Influencer culture on social media platforms such as Instagram has been linked to negative impacts on the mental well-being of social media consumers. Toxic positivity, a newer form of emotional suppression, has become prevalent specifically on Instagram. In this research study, the researchers examined existing literature regarding social media, emotional suppression, and mental well-being and expanded the literature to primary research regarding the perception of toxic positivity within influencer culture on Instagram. The researchers adopted a mixed methods approach to collect data through online survey distribution. Participants answered three demographic questions and 11 questions directly related to the research through an online descriptive survey. The researchers analyzed the responses to these questions in order to answer the presented research questions, and provide discussion and recommendations. The research was focused on the prevalence of toxic positivity in influencer culture on Instagram, as well as the effects on mental well-being after being exposed to toxic positivity.

Department: Communication

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lucille Mazo





Communication Studies