‘in­sta­gram pods made my so­cial me­dia experience very neg­a­tive’

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‘I first joined a pod through a post on Face­book, from some­one who was look­ing to set up a lik­ing/com­ment­ing group to boost en­gage­ment,’ says Beth*, 25. ‘I’d not long started my ac­count and the group was pretty open – any­one could ask to join and it had a real mixed se­lec­tion of In­sta­gram pages from fash­ion to travel and on­line re­tail­ers.

‘I thought it would be re­ally use­ful, but I quickly be­came pres­sured to like and com­ment on each post that was sent to the group. Users would send mul­ti­ple mes­sages each day and it was dif­fi­cult to keep track. The main is­sue I had with the pod was the pres­sure to like posts that I wouldn’t nor­mally en­gage with – it quickly made In­sta­gram an in­cred­i­bly neg­a­tive space for me. At one point, the founder of the group be­came re­ally de­mand­ing, writ­ing un­kind and to­tally un­nec­es­sary mes­sages if other mem­bers had missed lik­ing or hadn’t com­mented on a post.

‘The time I spent en­gag­ing with the pod could have been spent dis­cov­er­ing new and in­spir­ing In­sta­gram pages that make me feel good. I left the pod af­ter a few weeks and I’ve found In­sta­gram a much more wel­com­ing and pos­i­tive space be­cause of it.’

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