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“Everyone’s just showing their highlight reel which can make you feel really bad.”
Social media can be brilliant, but then again it can also be…not so great. US model Kaia Gerber has opened up about her relationship with Instagram and has wisely highlighted the lesson of knowing “what your own threshold for it is.”
“Having access to tutorials means you can learn so much and you can find people who are similar to you. I think there’s a lot more creativity happening because we’re connecting people from all over the world and all their different ideas and that’s a really amazing thing.
But there’s also the negative side, like comparison culture.”
She added: “It’s definitely important to be aware of how much time you spend on social media and what you’re using it for – if it’s to compare yourself to other people that can be really tough on your self-esteem.”
Kaia, who is the daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford and businessman Rande Gerber, pointed to the fact that you often only see one side of someone’s life on Instagram: “Everyone’s just showing their highlight reel which can make you feel really bad. I think you have to learn what your own threshold for it is – mine’s quite low!”
The American model, who is currently dating Elvis star Austin Butler, makes a great point. Social media can be used in both positive and harmful ways, and as Kaia says, it’s beneficial to understand how it makes you feel and where to draw your boundaries with it.
Numerous studies have shown the damaging effects social media can have on self-esteem and body image – especially among young girls and women.
In September 2021, a leak revealed that Facebook had kept internal research secret that suggested its Instagram app makes body image issues worse for teenage girls.
Also, in 2017, research by two health organisations named Instagram as having the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, according to The Guardian. Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook were also concluded to be harmful (n.b.: it’s worth noting this research took place before the existence of TikTok, which has also faced criticism).