Travel influencer reveals ‘crippling anxiety and depression’ following immense online vitriol after posting she was ‘childless and happy at 37 years old’

After posting she woke up to hundreds of hurtful messages (stock photo)(Getty Images/EyeEm)

A travel influencer has shared her ‘despair’ and admitted to suffering ‘crippling anxiety and depression’ after being subjected to immense online hate when she revealed she was ‘childless and happy at 37’. Now 38, Emily Hart has spent the last decade as a solo female traveller, regularly posting to her 144k Instagram followers about the highlights and adventures of going it alone.

However after posting one of her solo-travel picture montages online with the caption: “Age 37. Never married. No kids”, she was subjected to a barrage of online hate that left her unable to cope. A content creator for the past decade, she had been used to generally positive feedback over the years, but nothing could have prepared her for the vitriol from this particular post.

Originally due to have a long caption, explaining how she had never planned on not marrying or having children by her late 30s, she opted to change it at the last minute: “After a glass of wine at the airport lounge I decided I didn’t need to over-explain myself (famous last words, right?) and simply captioned the video with: “Just livin’ life. Very happily,”‘ she told Today.

By the next morning, however, she woke up to find that her post had been sent to the algorithmically generated social feeds of ‘millions’ of Instagram users: “I woke up with hundreds of new comments, nearly all hurtful,” she recalled. The post received 514k likes and more than 1,751k comments, leading to the influencer receiving 100s of comments every hour on how she was ‘pathetic and cringy and that feminism had deluded me into believing I was happy.’

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She also admitted that most of the comments were from men: “Many of them had Bible verses and ‘kindness’ in their bios, telling me every variation of “you will die alone” and “no one wants you anyway,” she said. One read: “No kids, not married, and 37, just a big child with no responsibility and never done anything useful, pathetic cow,” while another said: “Sad. Something is wrong with her.”

“Another one trying to prove that she’s happy inside,” said another. Admitting she still received messages now mocking her lifestyle, she said: “For months after the post, I was on edge whenever I opened Instagram. The app that makes up a large percentage of my livelihood had become something I feared.” She soon recognised that feeling ‘on edge’ was in fact: “Crippling anxiety and, I’m able to see in hindsight, depression.”

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