When Instagram Becomes Toxic

Ah yes, Instagram. The beautiful yet terrifying world where we spend countless hours scrolling, posting and lurking. In today’s day and age, it seems that almost everyone has an Instagram account. According to Statista, there are about 105 million Instagram users in the United States alone. Yeah, that number has us shook too. While Instagram can be a great app where people can connect and share with others, it can also become a toxic place that we just can’t seem to escape. 

Picture this, you’re scrolling down your Instagram feed when you come across an Instagram model and/or influencer. You begin lurking their account and you can’t help but to compare your life to theirs. It’s a situation many of us find ourselves in quite often. It might leave you with feelings of self-doubt or low self-esteem. The endless traveling, the ‘perfect’ body, the ‘perfect’ skin, the amazing wardrobe; it all seems to be the criteria that most influencers meet. However, is any of this even real?

You see, what people post on Instagram is only what they want people to see. The posts are only the good stuff. What you don’t see is what else might be going on in their lives. So what may seem perfect on Instagram, usually isn’t in real life. Perfection is overrated anyway. Not to mention, pictures are just pictures. There’s good angles, good lighting, filters and photoshop. It's honestly refreshing when people on Instagram get real about pictures. Here are some of my personal favorite "IG vs. Reality" reminders:

The pressure to be perfect online is real, which often leads many to think that they need to FaceTune that one zit out or smooth out their cellulite. But that isn’t reality, and most of the time the reality is better anyway. Zits are natural. Cellulite is natural. It’s easy to become so consumed on Instagram. So easy that we often forget it’s not real life. 

I can’t argue that Instagram is an amazing app where we can post pictures, share with others, connect with others, get inspiration or have a laugh at a good ol’ classic meme. However, Instagram toxicity is also very real. That being said, my advice to anyone goes as follows: before you start envy following any account on Instagram, think again. Ask yourself if this instagram account makes you feel good, because comparing yourself to others is never healthy. Take a break from Instagram for a day or two. See how it makes you feel. Unfollow any accounts that don’t make you feel like the best version of yourself. Instead fill your feed with accounts that inspire you and make you feel great.