This Mum's Photo Makes A Point About Social Media & Reality

After posting a photo to her Instagram over the weekend of herself and her sons, writer Sarah Turner received a few nice comments, including some that complimented her on how great her legs looked.
Turner, who runs the blog The Unmumsy Mum, appreciated the comments β€” but also wanted to be honest with her followers. A few hours later, she posted another photo, this time zoomed into her legs and cropped so that just the cellulite on her thighs is showing.
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"It's awfully kind of you all to tell me I have lovely legs (thank you!) but please remember these Instagram squares are a selectively (usually favourably) edited version of reality," she wrote in the caption. "This is the leg shot in those exact same denim shorts that I sent my pals the day we left. I've just put a filter on it but I don't think even Valencia can make this Instaperfect."
Many Instagram bloggers have spoken up recently about how social media posts don't always represent reality β€” and some have even spoken up about using Photoshop to edit Instagram pictures. While there's nothing wrong with showing off your best angle or curating your Instagram, as Turner says, we should also remember that social media photos are a selected version of reality β€” and for some who are navigating mental health or body image, social media can be discouraging.
Last month, a study found that Instagram was the worst app for people's mental health, something that experts attribute to its capacity as a platform to let people β€” especially young women β€”compare themselves to others.
"Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren't good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look 'perfect,' " an anonymous female respondent said in the report.
Of course, that's not to say that the app is inherently "bad" for you β€” the way we use social media varies from individual to individual, and we all experience Instagram in different ways. Still, it's worth thinking about the effect social media apps can have on our mental health.
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