Instagram is a slippery platform: the wrong mindset and it can send your mental health and self-esteem spiraling into the dumps. Even just a bad day can be made worse if you start comparing yourself.
But on other days, it's a place of beauty and inspiration. Your feed can feel like a mutually empowering community, and you're happy to scroll through it.
It's tough to find the right balance.
But I think it's safe to say we all want to try and build that second version for our followers. But how?
All you need is one thing: to practice self-love.
Self-love does not mean always posting the picture that looks the best or that fits the aesthetic of your page. Self-love does not mean changing what you post to match what someone else posted. Self-love does not mean following other people that make you feel bad about yourself simply because you don't want to unfollow them.
Self-love means posting what makes you happy and you alone happy. Self-love means posting no matter how many likes you get and not letting those numbers affect your self-worth. Self-love means being honest and respecting your own boundaries.
When you practice social media self-love, it shines on your page. Your profile may not always be happy, smiling, candid photos. But it'll reflect you.
Instagram is a great platform to connect with friends and family and to post pictures that make you happy. But Instagram is also a great place to get dragged down and feel insecure about yourself.
Real life isn't pretty. Real life isn't aesthetically pleasing. But real life is authentic.
Let your page reflect that. It's okay to talk about real things: politics, rough times, or really anything you want, it's your page.
Be who you are and you'll find Instagram to be a happier place.
But there's a disclaimer, being who you are will mean that some people will have a problem with you. They'll bring hate to your front doorstep. The trick is to acknowledge they're there, but you don't have to open the door for them.
Let love and solidarity in, let hatred sulk out in the cold.
It's your page, own it.