Elon Musk breaks down what he doesn't like about Instagram — and why social media can negatively impact people's mental health

YouTube/Joe Rogan ExperienceElon Musk on the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast.
  • During an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed how he feels apps like Instagram aren’t a great representation of how life truly is.
  • “Some of the happiest seeming people – actually some of the saddest people in reality,” Musk said.
  • It was part of a nearly three-hour conversation with comedian Joe Rogan, in which the two discussed Musk’s companies, artificial intelligence, and smoke marijuana together.

Elon Musk isn’t buying the rose-tinted glasses that come with looking at people’s lives through social media apps like Instagram.

During his nearly three-hour conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Musk and comedian Joe Rogan discussed topics ranging from Musk’s businesses, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and then smoked some marijuana together. But Musk also made it clear how he feels about apps like Instagram, and how they can make life appear more exciting than it really is.

“One of the issues with social media is people look like they have a much better life than they really do,” Musk said. “People are posting pictures of when they were really happy, they’re modifying those pictures to be better-looking. Even if they’re not modifying those pictures, they’re selecting the pictures for the best lighting, the best angle.”

Musk went on to express that Instagram makes people seem better-looking and happier “than they really are,” which can have negative effects on the psyche of followers who might buy into it. He feels that seeing attractive, happy people on social media will make people think “I’m not that good looking and I’m not that happy. So I must suck.”

“When, in fact, those people you think are super happy – actually not that happy. Really depressed, they’re very sad,” Musk said. “Some of the happiest seeming people – actually some of the saddest people in reality. And nobody looks good all the time, it doesn’t matter who you are.”

His overall opinion on social media apps? Not great – even with his heavy Twitter use.

“It’s relative to others,” Musk said. “We are constantly re-baselining our expectations.”

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