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The truth behind selfies and the life of a typical Instagram user

image copyrightSaffana Khan

Only 61% percent of social media users believe the selfies they share are an accurate reflection of who they really are.

A new report from Ofcom, which surveyed 1,000 people across the UK, revealed the truth behind our selfie habits.

Almost half admitted editing them before posting and 27% say their photos online make their life look more exciting.

23-year-old Saffana Khan says this is true of her "Insta-life".

"I try to be really fun on Instagram. I try to be 'that' pretty girl - as pathetic as it sounds," Saffana tells Newsbeat.

"I try to seem interesting, probably more interesting than I actually am."

image copyrightSaffana Khan

The results of the survey showed that for every selfie shared online, the user would take six photos.

But Saffana can take many more and spend long periods of time taking the perfect photo to post on Instagram.

"I might sit and take photos for 20 minutes, playing around with my phone to get the right angle and the right light to make my features look a certain way," she says.

"I'm not what I look like on social media."

image copyrightSaffana Khan
image captionIt takes Saffana - and most users - many attempts to get the perfect selfie right

Saffana has 400 followers on Instagram and says she spends an hour a day using the app.

The Ofcom report claims 29% of people spend one to two minutes editing their photos before posting online, but Saffana admits she can spend up to five minutes on hers.

Sometimes, she will filter the photo on Snapchat first and if it doesn't get enough likes, it gets deleted.

"If a photo only has 50 likes I'll wait a couple of days and if it turns out I hate that photo of myself and I don't have enough likes, I'll delete it," she says, adding that she'll check back every seven minutes to see how many likes a photo has.

"60 likes is a definite keeper."

image copyrightSaffana Khan
image caption"I'd like to think I'll spend no longer than five minutes editing photos," says Saffana

Saffana is a keen gym goer and follows lots of fitness models on Instagram.

A recent study revealed that Instagram was also the social media most likely to have a negative effect on users' mental health.

As a user who spends an above-average amount of time on the app, Saffana understands how this happens.

"Only recently have I got it into my head that I won't necessarily look like the people I follow but that's OK," she says.

"Even now I still struggle with that because it's such a reminder that I don't look this way regardless of the filters and how I can edit my pictures."

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