How I Survived Social Media  

My experience with social media started at age 10 with the app Musically. I danced every day, and I dreamed of being a dancer. When I heard about the app, I immediately downloaded it. helped shape my identity! Dance was a goal I wanted to achieve. It boosted my confidence and gave me pride. It also helped me cope with anxiety.

After a couple of years went by, I was in middle school at the time and was bullied for my weight. I was chubby and it was the main thing people saw in me. Not even my personality stood out anymore. The bullying hurt my confidence.

On top of that, I started to get acne. It made me feel ugly and unable to see my natural beauty. 

The Positive Effects of Social Media

I downloaded Snapchat to make friends and feel good about myself. Snapchat lets me use pretty filters. The filters were like a blessing. They took away my insecurities and the things I hated about myself. I started regaining my confidence. I started to love myself again. But I was still overweight and not fully confident about my body.

Then, I found Instagram. Instagram helped me look into body goals, mental health, and anxiety. Instagram offered diets, exercises, Bible scriptures, and coping skills. My main focus was losing weight and getting in shape. As the years passed, I lost weight. I tried everything in my power to get to where I wanted to be. In my mid-teen years, I felt comfortable to start making posts again. It was like a dream come true.  

The Negative Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Until 2020, as I stayed on social media, my behavior changed. I started doing things I never thought I would. I became a person who put all my business on Instagram stories. I was addicted to social media.

When I got hurt or didn’t like something, I jumped on Instagram to post about it. I gained a lot of attention. At the time, I was going through personal problems and family issues. Instagram was changing my perspective towards people I followed, as well as my mom. I isolated myself from my mom and wouldn’t talk to her about my problems. Over time, I saw my life wasn’t going smoothly. I decided to change my ways. Trust me, it took time!

In 2023, I started to change. I took some time away from Instagram. I prayed to God to help me. My prayers were answered! My life got better. I built my relationship with God and with my mom. My mom became happier. I knew the changes were meant to be, and I’ve become a better me!

In closing, I think social media can be negative and positive for self image. It depends on intake, monitoring, and self-control. I don’t feel alone because I know many adults are struggling too. Try reducing your social media use, or deleting social media apps for a period of time. We have to control social media before it controls us!

About the Author: Brielle Canady, a junior at Roxborough High School, enjoys dancing and drawing. Her goals include pursuing a degree in pediatric medicine while continuing to enjoy the arts.


If you or a loved one needs help, check out Healthy Minds Philly’s Boost Your Mood resource page.