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Being a shy introvert who hated talking to people face to face, I was quick to get addicted to social media platforms. I could make friends without feeling awkward, and could remain anonymous whenever I wanted to. Even though I was married with a six-year-old kid, I felt the need to have an active social life.

It all started with Facebook, which I used to communicate with friends. I shared news, photos and videos with them… but to be honest, the majority of these “friends” were people I had only met once or twice in real life. I spent hours on these platforms each day; somehow I was able to juggle work and family and did “Facebooking” with whatever little pockets of time I had. I felt that social media gave me a purpose in life and also a sense of belonging. Then came Instagram. I did not understand this photo-sharing app at first. I thought it was just a glorified platform for wannabe photographers. A colleague taught me briefly how to use it. I fiddled with it for a while and then put it aside, preferring other social media apps.

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One day, I saw an Instagram contest being promoted on Facebook, and decided to take part in it since I already had an account. I took a selfie for a contest called “Best-dressed Yummy Mummy”. Now, I’m not someone you would consider a model by any standards, but I was tall with a good figure, and many said I had a photogenic smile. I also had accumulated a wardrobe of inexpensive but very stylish clothes, which I frequently got compliments for. I snapped a couple of pictures and chose the best one to upload. A few days later, I checked and was elated to find out that I had won!

From then on, Instagram became a routine for me. I was addicted to every aspect of it, from experimenting with photo-taking and finding the best angles for selfies, to using all the different filter options. I had also garnered a group of followers who loved my photos; they were popular as they depicted a “yummy mummy’s lifestyle”. Many of the photos involved selfies taken at home. I would put on my nicest clothes, beautify myself with makeup and pretended to do housework in a glamorous way, or be seen having a delicious brunch with a lovely table setting. I got a kick out of seeing all the compliments and “likes”.

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I then decided that since my account had a few friends and acquaintances, I created another account and made it private so that I could filter my followers. I wanted to take my Instagram a step further to gain even more followers. On this account, I put up photos of myself preparing pancakes in the kitchen with only an apron and nothing else on. I took photos doing housework in suggestive positions. I also took selfies while soaking in the bathtub with a glass of champagne, and in silky lingerie with my cleavage exposed.

This second account was so popular that the followers shot up from a few hundred to several thousands in just a few weeks. Most of my followers were men from all over the world. But I also had a substantial female following who admired my domestic sexiness. I was encouraged to post even more photos and to improve my poses and “undressed” looks. I felt that what I was doing was wrong, but I could not stop. I also felt guilty for keeping this from my family and friends; nobody knew about this second account.

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One day at work, a colleague turned around and showed me a photo on her smartphone. I was shocked! It was the picture of me on Instagram in just the apron and licking maple syrup off a spoon suggestively. I had been very careful to keep out any followers whom I knew in real life but somehow this colleague had a male friend who had met me once on one of those after-work social parties. He recognised me and had showed the photo to my colleague.

Embarrassed, I tried denying that it was me at first, but my face was very clearly shown in the photo. I begged her not to tell anyone, including our bosses or my family members. She promised that she’d keep it a secret.

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After what happened, I decided to close down this Instagram account. It pained me greatly as all my photos, “likes”, comments and followers were permanently deleted. But I had to do it to prevent people I knew from coming across those pictures. I wouldn’t know what to do if my husband or my son saw them. Nowadays, I only take photos of scrumptious food and “regular” selfies, and learnt to be content with these as I still get “likes” and compliments.

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Photos: 123rf.com, Pixabay

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