Many of you are getting to the age where you're getting your first social media accounts. Instagram is a very popular form of social media for young teenagers. I've also noticed that it can cause a lot of insecurity.
When you look at other people's accounts on instagram, it can often seem like they have perfect, glamorous lives. They're always in the best clothes, have perfect skin, perfect makeup , "ideal bodies". They have seemingly perfect friendships and relationships. When you look at that it's hard not to compare it to your own life and feel like it's not good enough compared to their life.
These seemingly perfect lives on Instagram are not a realistic representation of people's lives. People chose what they post on social media. People want other people to think positively of them, so they only post the highlights of their lives. So what you are seeing is only what those people want you to see. These people don't have the perfect sunshine life. Comparing yourself to them does not help you. You are holding yourself up to something that isn't possible to achieve because it's not real.
If the accounts you follow on Instagram are making you feel bad about your life, unfollow them. You get to choose what you look at on social media and you do not need to waste your time looking at things that you find harmful. I recommend to only follow your friends and maybe a few other accounts. Personally, besides my friends, I only follow a few fandom/art accounts and the accounts of some actors I like.
If you have a public account, anybody can see it and comment. This can lead to seeking likes/comments as a form of validation. A private account, where you control who sees your posts, is a lot safer than having a public account. Public accounts are necessary for some things like art and fandom-based accounts, but your personal Instagram does not have to be public.
The amount of followers and likes you have doesn't matter. Having a lot of random internet strangers follow your account and like your posts does not make your life better. Not having a lot of likes and followers does not make your life worse. Basing your self worth on likes is not a healthy way to use Instagram. If you only use Instagram to boost your self worth that is not a healthy thing. If the way you are using social media is harming you, then it might be a good idea to step back and consider if it's a good idea for you to even have it.
Another trap you can fall into is trying to convince others on Instagram that you have a perfect life. It can make you very obsessive about social media and yourself in a way that isn't good for you. If you find yourself being addicted to Instagram, try setting yourself a daily time limit. If that doesn't really help, try deleting the app for a while and take a break.
Instagram isn't all bad, despite some serious issues that can come up. Be smart and careful with your social media use. Follow internet safety rules. It can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and to share your creative work.
It's common to feel pressure to join social media. You do not have to have an Instagram account if you don't want one. If you're under thirteen you shouldn't have one. Even if you're over thirteen, it might be a good idea to wait until you're a little older. If you want to avoid toxic Instagram culture, not having an Instagram is a smart way to do it.