Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Paul J. Traudt

Second Committee Member

David Dickens

Third Committee Member

Benjamin Burroughs

Fourth Committee Member

Gary Larson

Number of Pages



With more than 300 million daily users, Instagram has rapidly become one of the most widely used social networking apps worldwide. This study investigates relationships between motivations for using Instagram, whether users are portraying their true-selves and how their usage affects life satisfaction and well-being. A quantitative survey was used to collect data from 200 students at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas students. Participants were asked to provide answers regarding their habits for using Instagram, whether their online portrayal of self reflected their true self and determine overall life satisfaction. The motives studied in this research include: interpersonal communication, entertainment, information seeking, diversion and identity (Sheldon and Bryant 2015; Ting 2014; Papacharissi and Mendelson 2011; Sundar and Limperos 2013). The research question asked if there was a relationship between gender and usage of Instagram, results indicated there was less than one percent difference in usage among gender. Results support the hypothesis that there was a significant, positive relationship between the presentation of true self and life satisfaction. Other notable findings include the merging of two uses and gratification factors to become identity and social affinity; negative relationships between true-self and escape motive; and a negative relationship between the escape motive and life satisfaction.


Instagram; social media; true-self; uses and gratifications


Broadcast and Video Studies | Journalism Studies | Sociology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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