I started using Insta when I was 13. I had unrestricted access to the internet, and I already had a bad relationship with myself.
I used to follow so many conventionally attractive fitness models and dieticians that fit the stupid beauty standard. I never edited my photos, I just fell into multiple eating disorders. I HAD to be like these people, who had a “perfect” body and a “perfect” and thrilling life.
When I did post, I would ALWAYS monitor the amount of likes/comments I got. (this was still at age 13-15), and some comments I got were sexual. I had multiple men (older men) try to get me to send them photos of me (good thing i didn’t), but what I learnt was that the more I punished myself the more people would want me and the more approval I would get.
This (along with other reasons) really didn’t do my mental health great and i spiralled BAD. I’m 17 now, I still go to therapy (started at 14), and I still have issues with self image sometimes, although not as much.
Now, I dont post too much, and if I do, i don’t care about the likes, I have a private account now, and i now follow some great accounts that help me :).
Instagram algorithm is horrible, but there are a few VERY hidden gems. And it’s a real shame that content creators that spread positivity are never/rarely featured.
I’m mostly okay now 🙂 I’ve stopped caring about other’s opinions on me and my body after years of hating it. It feels nice.