Daily Mail

Beware of lies on Instagram


STEPHEN BEAR, the disgraced social media ‘star’ who was jailed last week for 21 months for voyeurism and two counts of revenge porn, has been exposed as living a lie. On social media he presented himself as a multi-millionair­e, but in fact he could lose his £600,000 house in Essex after struggling to meet mortgage payments.

He had eight failed businesses and ran his remaining one from his parents’ house.

Doesn’t this say so much about the smoke and mirrors of social media? When I worked in an eating disorders service, there were patients who had wildly popular Instagram accounts promoting clean eating — and yet their eating patterns were, in fact, horribly disordered and part of a serious mental illness.

Another patient portrayed himself as a fitness guru. Little did his followers know that he frequently used a filter to give himself a body which he simply didn’t have.

Yet images such as these contribute to an idealised view of the body which has a toxic, pernicious effect on young people. Don’t believe everything you see online.

■ These days, there’s one guaranteed ratings winner: true crime. Anything grisly and morbid seems to be a winner, whether on TV, radio or in books. There’s much debate about why. studies show women watch it to learn how to avoid being a victim. In a column last week, Craig Brown wondered if men were drawn to it because of latent, unconsciou­s fears they might themselves become a murderer. I’m not convinced. I think it’s because men see the male sex as protectors. They use true crime as a way of understand­ing tactics to find, outwit or overpower a killer.

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