Stop the Social Media Stress

Jaydi Swanson, Views Editor

A flattering pose. A trendy filter. A clever caption. How long does it take you to achieve this perfection before you hit post on your Instagram photo?

Social media has become a huge part of daily life. According to MarketingTech, the average person has seven social media accounts.

We all know the ups and downs to this online world. Sure, scrolling through our feed temporarily cures our boredom, but its addictiveness influences us to waste hours each day staring at a screen.

One of the most popular platforms for teens is Instagram, which has grown to 1 billion monthly users since its creation in 2010.

The problem with Instagram specifically is the façade it allows users to create. Since Instagram posts are only videos and pictures, it can lead to lengthy evaluation of your physical appearance. Would most people post a photo on their account if they thought they looked bad or if it depicted them doing something weird?

No. The average Instagrammers only post photos of themselves having fun and looking cool.

Whether you notice it or not, your Instagram account probably has some effect on your self-esteem. After you see countless posts of pretty people in pretty places, it’s easy to doubt yourself.

In March of 2017, the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health found Instagram to be the most mentally damaging platform in terms of anxiety levels and body image. The standards that have been set over its eight years of existence have turned Instagram into a breeding ground for negative thoughts.

Is my post as cool as theirs? Do I look all right? Should I put a filter on this? What should I caption it? Am I getting enough likes? There’s a simple answer to all of these questions: don’t stress about it so much. We have to realize that our feed does not need to make us look perfect. It’s easy to forget that the models we see on Instagram are human too, and even they don’t have a glamorous life 100 percent of the time.

What if we all worried less about sharing what we think looks cool and more about creating a feed that presents our true selves?

If you like that photo of you and your dog, but your hair looks a little messy, who cares? Post it anyways. If you took a picture with your best friends but your outfit isn’t as fashionable as theirs, post it anyways.

Don’t let society mold your account into cookie-cutter perfection. And remember—Instagram is only an app.