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My First Internet Troll Experience

Recently, I had a comment get a lot of attention on a viral Instagram Reel. Like it got two thousand likes. Unfortunately, viral content tends to bring out the trolls, and my comment was no exception.

For background, the Reel that went viral was about the Lost River Gorge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which has caves you can go through. I did the caves myself when I went, and I made a comment from my travel Instagram account about how the experience was not that fun for me because I’m claustrophobic. Image of my comment below.

Innocent enough, right? I was one of the first people to comment on the Reel before it went viral. I’m someone who really likes to engage with the accounts I follow because I like connecting with people on the internet who have similar interests. And like I said, I did do the caves. I’ll be honest though, I actually did have an anxiety attack at the end of one of the caves because the opening looked like it could only fit a child. Like I thought there had to be some mistake because it just looked that tiny.

Picture of me in one of the less narrow sections of one of the many caves at the Lost River Gorge.

Anyways, back to the comment. I had a troll reply to my comment basically telling me I’m fat, although he said I look a little chunky, which isn’t much better lol. Basically the joke was I’m too fat to fit through the caves. The comments were so ridiculous and they made zero sense. Like obviously I’m not fat AND I could fit through the narrow caves (even though it was anxiety-inducing).

The troll comments:

Like there was definitely a part of me that was like jeez if you’re going to attempt to bully me, at least bully me for something that makes sense. Anyone can take one look at me and see that I can definitely fit through the caves. In fact, I have videos of me going through tighter sections, just they’re not fit for the internet lol. Plus, I shouldn’t have to give proof of being thin enough to go through a cave.

This would have really bothered me back when I was really struggling with my eating disorder. And honestly, initially it did affect me. But, that was only because I was just more shocked than anything. At this stage of my recovery, for the most part I’m content with my body. I actually had a good weekend and was the most comfortable I’ve been in a bikini in years during a Memorial Day Weekend Party. If I was having a bad body image day, it might have affected me more than it did.

Working On Being Comfortable In Front Of The Camera

I’ve been trying to get in front of the camera more so I think that’s helped me a lot with how I view myself. I do still have bad days. But most times when I see video footage of me, I’m shocked at how good I think I look. Like I’ve been terrified of hating how my body looks in videos, but I’m finding it’s quite the opposite. I am actually happy about what I look like in these videos I’ve been taking of myself.

One of my recent videos:

Final Thoughts

While the comment didn’t affect me that much, I did worry about how that comment might affect others who saw it. While the comment was directed at me, I’m sure a lot of females, some of which probably have the same body as me, saw that comment. That comment could be absolutely devastating for so many people. It’s disgusting that some random person with no profile picture and a private account thought it was okay to comment that. It’s ALWAYS people hiding behind a faceless, nameless, private account. Miserable people who bully others for fun.

While the internet and social media can be such a great place (which I talk about in another post), trolls like this make it a living hell for a lot of people. I think part of what has helps me personally is not taking these people too seriously. Another great thing is blocking or hiding content that really does affect me negatively.


March 2024 Themes!

New month, new content! Check out our flyer for March 2024 themes!

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Women’s History Month
  • Beginning of Spring
  • March Holidays (Easter, St. Patrick’s Day)

Send us a DM on Instagram @turningpointct_org or email us at turningpointct@positivedirections.org if you’re interested in contributing any content, or you can directly submit content here to our website!

Finding Community On Social Media

You hear a lot of people talking about how toxic and damaging social media can be. I’m not saying I disagree with those statements. Social media can do a lot of damage to young people’s mental health (which I’ve written about here). I’ve definitely been a victim of it in the past. But, I want to talk about the positive sides of social media I’ve recently found.

Starting To Take My Travel Instagram More Seriously

Last year, I made a conscious effort to put time and effort into the Instagram account for my travel blog. Initially, I was really just looking at it like a job I had to do. I wanted to work on growing the account and the engagement. And, I did do just that. However, something unexpected came along with the growth. I found a community through my account.

Starting To Find My People

I started to follow a lot of New England based travel and hiking accounts. Those were things that were relevant to my niche. And, of course, they also happened to be things that I was interested in.

I was loving the content I was seeing and engaging with their content. In return, I found them engaging with my content. We are all like-minded people who just have a genuine love for exploring in New England and beyond. I found myself really looking forward to their content.

As I began to recognize the accounts and become familiar with them, I began to respond to their stories more and engage with them privately in DMs. We would talk about our experience as creators, talk about different places we’ve been going to, places we’re hoping to visit, etc. Later, I began to share memes back and forth with some because I’d see things that made me think of them. I truly found people that I genuinely connected with through my account.

Curating Your Social Media Feed & Making Friends

I think one of the great things about social media is that you can truly curate your feed to be something that resonates with you and brings you joy. I love going on my travel account and seeing what everyone is up to. It helps me discover places nearby that I had never heard of.

Recently, someone I follow did a seal tour out of Newport, RI that I never knew existed. I actually did the same tour yesterday because I asked her for the details. When I planned the trip, I told her thank you so much for telling me about it!

Messages with someone I’ve connected with through Instagram and a photo from the seal and lighthouse cruise.

New Photography Friends

I’ve made a few new photography friends through my account as well. One inspired me to get back into bird photography because she just recently got into wildlife photography. We message back and forth about wildlife we’ve seen and we engage with each other’s content.

Another photography friend I’ve made is just as into waterfalls and taking long exposures of them as I am. So naturally, we go back and forth about waterfalls. It’s honestly been so awesome to just connect with people who are so into the things I am. And, they’re relatively local, which is awesome. One is in Connecticut and the other is just over the border of Connecticut in New York.

Recent photos I’ve taken – I was so excited to see and photograph this hawk the other day!

I find myself really looking forward to everyone’s content. I really feel like they just get me. And, I love seeing them engage with my content knowing I’m also helping them to find new places to visit or photograph at. Finding this community has really helped to change my view of what it means to be a creator on social media.

Now I’m more focused on posting content I’m actually passionate about. I know my followers are here because they have similar interests to me. Seeing their genuine comments and responses to my content is refreshing. It’s made me care less about going viral. And, I’m just enjoying being a part of the New England travel scene on Instagram. I love supporting their content and having their support in return.

Finding A Community On Threads (Meta’s Newest Social Media Platform)

I’ve also recently gotten really into Threads because it is full of photographers who are just supporting each other. There are a lot of travelers on Threads as well, but I’ve found myself really connecting with other photographers on the platform because that’s really where my background is. I’m getting back to my roots.

Right now, Instagram is just full of video content and I’m so burnt out by it. I hated feeling like I had to get video footage everywhere I went. I’m more of a photograph kind of gal. I also love how low-key it is on Threads. Oh and I love not feeling like I am at the will of some stupid algorithm. Everything just feels less forced. It’s a platform where people are really happy to engage with each other.

I love to ask people to share their photos with me, it’s awesome connecting with people through photographs.

Final Thoughts

Have you found a community or people you really connect with on social media? Does social media feel like a safe space for you?

If you haven’t found your people yet or if social media feels uncomfortable for you, here are some tips to make social media a more enjoyable place for you:

  • Find and follow accounts in your areas of interest. On my personal account, I pretty much have my feed curated to show me memes and cute animals. On my travel account, I have it curated to show me travel and hiking related content. On my photo account, it’s curated to see other artists photos from birds to landscapes. On Facebook, I’m in a bunch of wildlife and bird groups, meme groups, and groups of interest for me (like Twilight, The Office, etc). Eventually the algorithm will start showing you stuff related to your interests.
  • Hide content that you don’t want to see or that makes you uncomfortable. If you tell the platform “I don’t want to see this” or “hide” it will eventually catch on to what you don’t want to see. It might not feel like you have control over what comes on your feed, but you really do have control. Hide those things you don’t want to see and unfollow or block accounts that you do not want to see content from.


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Social Media and Diet Culture

**this episode contains explicit language

Social Media– Does it affect our self worth?

We’re back with another one… and this time, we’re chatting about one of our biggest addictions to our everyday lives– SOCIAL MEDIA! Social media and connecting through technology has become the way of life for most young adults. From Snapchat to Facebook, sharing our experiences with everyone with the stroke of a button has grown to be the norm. Whether sharing the good or the bad, things are out there and people are watching.

Check out Rai, Kevin, Lauren and Sydney as they discuss social media and how it is being used by young adults. Listen as they share their own experiences with it and how it has influenced their lives, opinions and self worth.

Join in on the convo right here on the forum — how has social media affected you? https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/newpodcastalert-social-media/

Social Media

This is my getaway

My safe space

In lonely times

An array of options



On everything that has to do with me

Or belongs to someone else

But is it safe?

Am I really lonely

Am I bombarded with wild thoughts

…Sharing sensitive secrets

Or Am I being too quiet

Too inquisitive?


This is social media!



Starting over

I would love to hear stories about how you learned to manage your mental illness and what life was like when you started over.