Want to feel better about yourself?

Stop following people on social media who make you feel insecure, fat or ugly – it’s probably a very long list.

In this age of filters and fakery, there are too many perfect people with perfect lives.

Even Selena Gomez, said to be the most followed Instagrammer on the planet with 133 million followers, says “I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram.”

In an interview with Vogue, the American singer and actor admitted taking breaks from the digital platform, deleting the app from her phone and asking her assistant to post on her behalf.

“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez says. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and 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.”

Social media can make us crazily self-obsessed and distort reality with unparalleled ease.

As reported in The Courier-Mail this week, psychologists are now including social media detoxes and digital literacy programs in the treatment of eating disorders, warning that the “fitspo” trend is intensifying, and even creating, body image issues.

Dr Kiera Buchanan, director for the Centre for Integrative Health, says many patients fail to realise that what they see online is not representative of real life, and manipulated images can “trigger their illness”.

Fitspo, in case you’ve missed the 52.5 million hashtags on Instagram, is short for “fitspiration”, which is meant to inspire people to lead healthier lifestyles.

The opposite is occurring.

Women, in particular, are obsessing over others’ finely-toned, supremely athletic and typically thin bodies to the point of making themselves mentally and physically unwell.

– Kylie Lang

Read more: The fitness trend that’s actually bad for you

Image by J1 Koy from Unsplash