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I grew up in a time where social media was just becoming popular. I remember constantly asking my mom to allow me to make a Facebook and her getting mad when I made an Instagram in sixth grade without telling her.

When I was young and begging for social media, I never really understood the affect it could have on my mental state. I figured since most of the other kids were on it, I needed to have it too.

Whenever I posted, I remember refreshing the page to see how many likes and comments I would get and I would get upset if they weren’t the amount that I wanted. I would also get self conscious when I didn’t have as many followers as my friends. I would think that because I didn’t have as many likes, comments or followers as other people that people didn’t like me as much.

I admit that even now, I look at how many likes and comments I get and if there aren’t as many as I want or if my feed isn’t the way I like it, I’ll delete pictures.

Social media gets even more toxic to mental health when you start to compare how you look to how a celebrity looks. Yes, they may look good, but most of the time their pictures are highly edited. Or, they’re hiding behind plastic surgery in the real world to make them look the way they want to look.

Yes, social media is a great tool to share your voice and keep up with people, but it’s not great when you start to compare yourself to others. The amount of likes, followers and comments shouldn’t affect how you view yourself.

Your personality, morals and how you make others feel should be what you care about. Social media isn’t reality. People post only the highlights of their lives. They choose what you can see about them. Life is about more than an aesthetically pleasing feed and what kind of tweets you post.

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