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For today’s web extra, we are talking about one of the biggest hot topics in the world of social media: mental health and transparency.  

Scrolling through your news feed, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t measure up.  

In our conversations with some of Indy’s biggest influencers, they admit they are guilty of sometimes contributing to that false sense of perfection, but they are also guilty of feeling negative impacts on their own mental health.  

Here’s what they had to say about that and why they believe it’s more important than ever to keep it real on social media: 

“I have struggled with like mental health, anxiety over the past years and so I try to have open conversations about that with my followers because at the end of the day I’m literally just a normal 22-year-old girl. I go through the same struggles. The only thing that’s different is I’m sharing my life almost 24/7. 

And there are still obviously things that even I don’t share. I think it’s also important to have a certain privacy aspect when it comes to your life and everyone can decide what that is for them… Just by only following the people that make me feel good and inspire me, that also helps as far as my mental health and what I’m consuming on the platforms.”  

                        -Josie Bullard, @josie.bullard 

“I think recently become a lot more mainstream to share those kind of things on social media… which is cool because it’s real life. I will share something and say, ‘You guys I hated this, it was awful’ or, ‘I’m having a bad day’ or whatever and I think it’s just nice to know…  And also to share that with people that nobody is perfect. 

It is a curated feed, you know. It is a highlight reel and that’s what everyone calls it… and that is exactly what social media is.” 

                        -Kelli Bastin, @bighairandfoodiefare 

“I think that influencers that really get it are representing a balanced perspective. They are presenting some vulnerability while maintaining the privacy as well as the ultra-positive side. But I think one of the ills of social media is the pressure to show the happiest parts of your life, right? And I hope we are going away from that… where people are looking for a more balanced perspective.  Either that, or I know that you are not always this happy and I know that you’re not living a champagne life.  

“I think influencers that are doing a good job or talking about that. And I think for credibility purposes, just like in the media, If you only write positive reviews you ultimately get known to be basically like a promoter. They’re not presenting it with a journalistic perspective. And while we don’t expect journalistic integrity from an influencer, I do expect some integrity in terms of how they are communicating the reality.”    

                        -Duncan Alney, Founder of Firebelly Marketing, @wearefirebelly