Why Are We Obsessed With Food on Instagram and the IKEA Effect: How Our Own Ideas Become Valuable?


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 30, 2023

4 min read


Why Are We Obsessed With Food on Instagram and the IKEA Effect: How Our Own Ideas Become Valuable?

In today's digital age, it seems that food has taken over our Instagram feeds. From beautifully plated dishes at fancy restaurants to homemade creations that look too good to eat, food has become a prominent feature in our social media timelines. But why are we so obsessed with sharing our meals with the world? And what does this phenomenon have to do with the IKEA effect?

One of the reasons we love posting about our food on Instagram is the desire to make others jealous. We all want to showcase our amazing dining experiences and make our friends envious of the delicious meals we're enjoying. Food has become a status symbol, and by sharing our culinary adventures, we can elevate our social standing.

Additionally, when we visit new places, food becomes the most Instagram-worthy thing we encounter. Whether it's a famous local dish or a unique fusion creation, we feel the need to capture these gastronomic delights and share them with our followers. Food has become a way for us to document our travels and create lasting memories.

But this obsession with food on Instagram goes beyond just showcasing our meals. It's about the experience. Eating has transformed into an event that must be exciting and visually appealing in order to attract us to a business. Restaurants and food establishments have realized the power of presentation and have started prioritizing aesthetics to cater to our desire for a memorable dining experience. Food has become a form of entertainment, and we can't resist capturing and sharing these experiences.

So why do we love food photography so much? It's because it takes something mundane and makes it unique. It transforms an everyday activity into an extraordinary experience. Food photography allows us to appreciate the artistry behind a perfectly plated dish or the vibrant colors of fresh ingredients. We all crave adventure in our lives, and looking at food photography can momentarily satisfy that desire.

Now, let's dive into the concept of the IKEA effect and how it relates to our obsession with food on Instagram. The IKEA effect describes how people tend to overvalue things in which they have invested their own effort. This cognitive bias can have implications for organizations, leading to the sunk cost effect and the "not invented here" syndrome.

The sunk cost effect refers to the tendency of individuals to continue investing resources into failing projects simply because they have already invested in them. Similarly, the "not invented here" syndrome occurs when people reject externally developed ideas in favor of their own, even if the external ideas are superior.

To mitigate the negative effects of the IKEA effect, there are a few actionable steps we can take. Firstly, it's crucial to acknowledge our unconscious bias. In a study on the IKEA effect, participants were found to be unaware of their own bias. Despite claiming that they would pay more for pre-assembled products, their actions contradicted their statements. Being aware of our biases can help us make more objective decisions.

Another important step is to prototype and iterate. The IKEA effect is strongest when people perceive their own effort as successful. By creating rough prototypes and seeking feedback, we can avoid becoming too attached to our ideas. Failure to complete tasks can have negative psychological consequences, so it's essential to test and refine our ideas before fully committing to them.

Furthermore, talking to customers and running growth experiments can help us gain valuable insights and challenge our own ideas. By involving others in the decision-making process, we can overcome the "not invented here" syndrome and embrace external ideas that may be more effective.

In conclusion, our obsession with food on Instagram stems from our desire to showcase our experiences and make others jealous. Food has become a form of entertainment and a way to document our travels. The IKEA effect, on the other hand, highlights the tendency for people to overvalue their own ideas and reject external ones. By acknowledging our biases, prototyping and iterating, and involving others in the decision-making process, we can mitigate the negative effects of the IKEA effect and make more objective decisions.

So, the next time you find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed, drooling over mouthwatering food photos, remember to take a step back and consider the underlying reasons for our obsession. And perhaps, try implementing the actionable advice we've discussed to avoid falling into the trap of overvaluing your own ideas.

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