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For teen girls, Instagram is all about competition – The Daily Journal



Darcy Leight
 |  Council Rock High School South


The data may seem surprising to some, but to the majority of teen girls, the effects of Instagram are unfortunately familiar. The negativity surrounding the app resonates with far too many of us, and have for far too long. 

I remember the year I first downloaded the app on my mom’s iPhone. It was fourth grade, and all of my friends were making accounts.

It was my first introduction to social media, and I was fascinated.

It began as posting pictures of my pets or vacations that I’d been on. At the time, it was fun and completely harmless. 

I don’t remember exactly when the switch flipped, but suddenly, my entire feed changed.

Over just a few years, the entire purpose of the app had been transformed into what it’s become today: a world of comparison and competition.

The change in the app’s culture changed me with it. The constant emphasis on physicality and wealth began to make me criticize everything about myself. The clothes I was wearing, the posters on my walls, and even my own physical appearance seemed to not be enough. Because none of the girls I saw trending looked like me. 

It was extremely damaging to see this every single day. The negative effects of constantly seeing filtered, seemingly flawless people online reflected off the screen and into my daily life. It made me so hyper-aware of the way that I looked, acted, and just existed, that simply looking around a classroom or locker room could breed negative, comparative thoughts.

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When I finally confessed all of these feelings to my friends, I discovered I was not alone in my experience. Almost every one of my friends had fallen into the cycle of scrolling and comparing.

With the realization that this was affecting more than just me, I felt the need to make a change, to regain some semblance of control. 

Being intentional in the way I use the app has made a world of a difference. By limiting the accounts I follow to people who exclusively make me feel positive and uplifted, I’ve been able to experience the joy and connectedness of social media again. 

But beyond the platform entirely, I think disconnecting regularly and being mindful of the time you do decide to spend scrolling through Instagram can help ease some of the mental strain.

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I have integrated these habits into my own life, and since have found social media to be a much more accepting place.

I wish for other girls my age to feel the same acceptance. Social media should never come before mental health.

Darcy Leight is a junior at Council Rock South High School in Northampton, Pennsylvania. An animal lover, she feels teens are often overlooked and wants to be part of the conversation surrounding issues in her community.

Follow Teen Takes at @teen_takes on Instagram; @_teentakes on Twitter; and join the Teen Takes group on Facebook. 

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly


We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters





Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?




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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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