Woman scrolling through her phone while lying on a sofa.

TikTok is a mine of creativity and (highly entertaining) drama. At the same time, it’s also a dark abyss where people are sucked into appearance-based comparisons. The crippling thought of “her life is better than mine” can trash your sense of self. Worse, experts say that being social media active sets off like anxiety and body image concerns in young adults.

In the era where TikTok has become the new Google, can you stay true to yourself while trying to stay relevant? These women open up about how they establish positive boundaries and protect their sense of self online.

Add Value to Your Life, Not More Pressure

Having worked as a YouTube channel manager, Mary Grace is no stranger to the good and bad of social media. Nevertheless, she still finds herself deep in the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt mania. “At one point, I followed every recommendation from my favorite influencers. I realized that all those trendy material things didn’t add anything meaningful to my life,” she notes.

Being on TikTok feels more like hanging out with friends, where they tell you about their latest best buys. Nothing harmful about that. However, these product recommendations can trigger and make you hyper-aware of you didn’t know you had. Your molars suddenly seem yellower than before when your FYP keeps shoving teeth-whitening strips in your face.

“You’ll have a hard time knowing and loving yourself if you continuously choose to consume content about other people,” says Mary Grace. It’s important to maintain healthy self-esteem and lean into selfishness. “Sometimes, all we need is to give the attention we're giving to somebody else, to ourselves.”

Be Unafraid of Your Personality

It’s not a secret that most of what you see on the internet is a theatrical performance. But as it turns out, being just the way you are is actually better for both your sense of self and social media presence. Andrea Aguillon, who has years of experience as a social media manager, claims that authenticity is the new currency. “It’s hard to find ways to be yourself. But I think the more you show your true personality, the more you’ll be accepted, especially on TikTok.”

In recent years, many content creators have held no reservations about revealing their or admitting to . “Viewers appreciate getting to know the person behind the façade,” says Andrea. “They also know now that perfection is truly something they can’t achieve.”

Instead of chasing unattainable , be yourself behind and in front of the camera. If you want a shot of confidence booster, take care of your skin with POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Clarity Day Serum. It has , which helps increase skin cell turnover and inhibits melanin transfer, for a brighter and glowing complexion.

Go Out and Touch Some Grass

As a twentysomething who’s chronically online, Elle Santos often feels the struggle to preserve her sense of self as well as her inner compass. “Pressure is always going to loom over me. There’s so much self-discovery happening in your 20s, and as someone who’s in this age range, it’s a long journey,” she admits.

It’s hard to stop scrolling and break away from unrealistic ideals, especially with the way the TikTok algorithm feeds you videos. For example, if you watch an influencer from Pasay suggest that your partner is a walking for not posting about you on Instagram once a week, your FYP will likely be flooded with similar content. The algorithmically curated content can create an echo chamber, reinforcing certain perspectives while filtering out others. This is also why some experts worry that TikTok can be home to misinformation.

You can separate yourself from what’s happening online. Elle thinks it’s necessary to do a once in a while. Even a few hours away from your screens can provide much-needed clarity. In the meantime, focus on self-care starting with your hair. Use Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Color Revive. Combining three keratin products in one, this conditioner tames frizz, boosts shine, and helps dyed hair stay vibrant.

Be Picky About What You Watch

Copywriter Ingrid Villamarin shares that spending time on TikTok has harmed her self-value in the past. “Sometimes the voices in my head still whisper vain, egotistical notions that tempt me. I navigate this situation by grounding myself in the present.”

In addition, she filters the content she watches. “I unfollow those who don’t contribute to my authentic and take everything with a grain of salt,” she adds.TikTok is filled with a spectrum of opinions devised by regular people. Some are intelligent, some are illogical, some want to troll, and some have good intentions. You have the power to choose what you believe in, so wield it.

TikTok has its faults, but it can also inspire and help you in many ways. Ultimately,

you’re capable of making it a more positive place for yourself and others, whether as a content creator or an everyday scroller. If you ever feel like you’re losing your sense of self after all the scrolling, heed Ingrid’s advice: “Go back to what makes you, you – who you are when you are not being perceived by others, who you are when you are not trying to please others.”