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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

We have all been there: we either scrolled past an Instagram post or saw a story that made us second guess ourselves. It could be posted by someone you know, a celebrity, or an influencer you followed to get discount codes on your favorite products. Maybe you think, “Why don’t I look like that?” or “Why can’t I afford that?” Maybe a post even makes you feel guilty for taking a brain break and scrolling on your phone because you should be “using your free time to build your empire.” Your feed should fulfill you, not shame you.

The content that you see can affect your mood without even realizing it in the moment. Take a look at who you’re following. Take note of how you interact with their content. Maybe their posts barely show up at all because you don’t interact with their posts. Do you really need to still follow that one person from high school who you have not spoken to in years? Or that influencer promoting shiny hair pills that they don’t even use? If you find yourself rolling your eyes at someone’s post or if it triggers a negative emotion in you, remove them from your feed. If you are worried about any backlash from removing people you may know, Instagram has a “mute” feature to hide posts and stories. 

Woman looks at a photo on Instagram on her phone.
Photo by Kate Torline from Unsplash


A few years ago, I was too focused with the amount of likes I had on a post or the amount of followers I had. I took it as a way of validation and felt like I needed to be posting after every event in my life. This pause on life due to the pandemic has helped me get my priorities straight. Granted, I only post every few months because I do not have much going on (thanks Covid!), but it made me reflect on how I do not need likes or followers as a form of validation.

I need to see my close friends’ photos with their families, their favorite recipes, or their workout stats to cheer them on. Also lots and lots of pet pictures. I want to read the latest reviews from @traderjoesfoodreviews to get inspiration for my own cooking. I want reassurance that it is okay to take a break sometimes and easily understandable explanations of what’s happening in astrology right now. I do not need to see unattainable and filtered images put out by influencers promoting unhealthy diet pills or gummies. 

Woman sits in bed with her phone, a book and a mug.
Photo by Laura Chouette from Unsplash

Instagram does not need to be all bad. It is an amazing way to stay connected with close friends, find reviews for video games you want to try, or stay up to date with your favorite small business’ shop updates. I know I actively look forward to the local cupcake shop’s weekly flavor update. 

Ever since I started shaping my feed into something that I want to look at, I find it more enjoyable to scroll through and share different recipes or memes with friends. Life is too short to be second-guessing ourselves. You do not need to feel guilty for making your feed comfortable to scroll through. You are the only one looking at it every day so fill it with things that you want to see.

Aimee Padley

West Chester '21

Aimee Padley is a senior at West Chester University studying Media & Culture with minors in journalism and Spanish. When she's not writing, she can be found trying to cook or spending time with family. Lover of travel, reality TV shows, and her planner. Post-grad, she hopes to find a job in public relations or journalism.
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