As fun as Instagram can be, at one point or another, it makes everybody feel crappy about their life. Whenever we scroll through someone's fancy vacation shots or trendy outfit posts, we can't help but compare the outside of their experiences to the inside of ours. And inside, everyone is a mess. Everyone.
Take it from the number one most-followed human being on Instagram, Selena Gomez. In Vogue's new April issue, the 24-year-old gets admirably real about her struggle with anxiety and depression, which caused her to cancel the second half of her Revival world tour last summer. At the time, Selena said her "self-esteem was shot" and she "started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage."
To get better, Gomez entered a mental health facility in Tennesse, where she had to give up her cell phone as a part of the program. "You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls, real people who couldn't give two shits about who I was, who were fighting for their lives," she told Vogue. "It was one of the hardest things I've done, but it was the best thing I've done."
For 90 days, Gomez participated in therapy and surrendered social media access. Even after completing treatment, she's dialed her Instagram activity way down. (According to Vogue, the app isn't even installed on her phone anymore and an assistant has her password.)
It was putting things in my head that I didn't want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram.
"It felt like I was seeing things I didn't want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn't want to care about," she said. "I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I'm kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit."
So if Instagram makes you feel anxious and inadequate, listen to its single most followed person: You can give it up, and your mental health will be better for it.
Instead, try an app that will make you feel actively good about yourself, like our favorite mindfulness and meditation app of the moment: Stop Breathe & Think.