I think that we can all recall a time when we stumbled upon a perfectly curated Instagram feed. Or we have seen a friend's life that seems so much better than ours on Facebook. We may get a smidge jealous, and that's hard to deal with. That person's perfect life or aesthetic flowing seamlessly throughout, making it almost impossible to stop scrolling and looking. No one wants to talk about how difficult their life is, and with that comes a lot of life curation. Today I am talking why comparison (especially in the social media age) is so damaging.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
I have learned over time that comparison is the thief of joy. When you compare yourself there is always going to be someone who is better than you at something, and if you get to the top of anything, you are still gonna feel that way. In today's rat race, there is really no top. There is always gonna be a new goal or a new accomplishment so that you can feel on top of the world.
It's so much better to acknowledge that, and move away from the comparison side of life. Once you are all about community over competition, you can begin to really thrive. You shouldn't be thriving in spite of others, but with others.
It's so easy to look at someone's life or look at someone's accomplishments and get upset. You pore over what you are doing wrong. Why is this person succeeding so much while I am not? Even when you pass that person, there is going to be another person on social media doing it bigger and better than you. It's a perpetual cycle. You pass someone, and you find another person you need to pass.
You can choose to compare, or you can choose to work on yourself, for yourself. When you choose the latter, you can make a true and positive impact on your own life and soul.
What You See Isn't Often What You Get
I have been thinking about this so often as of late.
I am sharing these pictures with you, but there is all the stuff you don't see. I took over 100 photos with my dad, but I am only showing you 12. I don't think the world needs to see those images. I may pull a few more from them over time, but as of right now, I only want to showcase these select and curated images.
I think back to all the times I was showcasing graduate school as some amazing experience (which I think overall it was) but at the same time I was crying myself to sleep at night.
I think about all the times I was trying to be as positive as possible all the while I was an emotional wreck.
I mean, I have had multiple deaths in my family over the past two years that really impacted me mentally, and I rarely talk about those experiences. Once in 2016 I was dealing with a death, then a month later as a way to recoup from that I did an entire month of positivity on Instagram and then chatted about it on the blog.
What truly got me thinking about this point was not from my own life, but just listening to various podcasts where people openly talked about things like nose jobs and seeing some people talk about various injections and plastic surgeries. I have nothing against those people, but it just fascinates me. So much of what we see is curated by a filter and sometimes even surgeries.
Don't Be Afraid To Step Away From Social Media
I feel that it's important to say that it's okay to step away from social media. Your friends life will keep going regardless of whether you are on Facebook or Instagram to see it. If you are that concerned about what's going on in someone's life, send them a text message. If you don't have their number, they are probably not that important to you to begin with.
Social media has been such an important part of our generation growing up, that it seems almost impossible to get away from it. Sometimes a social media detox is definitely needed though. Go read a book, watch a movie, or even take a nap. Those important social media updates will most likely still be there where you get back.
I mean, what do we really do on social media anyway? We stalk friends from high school we haven't talked to in years just to see if our lives are better my comparison; we look at an exes page and wonder what could have been and to see if they look happier without us; we check out what our co-worker or student frenemy is up to; etc. Sure, there are many positive aspects to social media, but often it's used as a comparison game.
It is so important that we take the time to realize when social media is no longer serving us. Even as a blogger, I have to remember to shut it down when necessary.
So, there you have it.
You shouldn't compare your real life to someone else's Instagram feed.
You are an amazing, talented, beautiful soul.
Be you and forget the rest.