A Culture of Comparison

Social media can be a beast.

Studies have found that the more social media we use, the more our rates of anxiety and depression rise. Unfortunately, for many of us, using social media platforms intensifies feelings of “not enough-ness,” lowering our self-worth. Furthermore, the more social media platforms you are on, the more depressed and anxious you can become, according to several studies, including this one.

With the rise of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc, it can be difficult not to feel inadequate and unfulfilled as we scroll through our feeds comparing our lives with the posts of people having so many seemingly perfect moments: Selfies of smiling people, kids laughing/being cute, amazing food, exotic vacations, adorable animals, couples in love, etc. We see it all the time!

It can be hard to remember as we scroll through these immortalized moments, hypnotized by the photos, colors and videos that that is exactly what they are: Moments. Smiling doesn’t always mean happy, those kids are not always laughing and being cute, that food could have been mediocre, they may have been fighting that whole vacation, that dog could actually be a little hellion and that couple could be on the verge of divorce!  Who knows?! Not that we should be wishing that on anyone, but you know what I am saying.

We can’t assume that what people post is an accurate depiction of their lives and we must remember that everyone is living life with all the ups and downs that come with being a human being. People are going through all sorts of things that they are probably not going to be posting on social media.

Getting stuck in Comparison Land is and focusing on what we don’t have leads us to be distracted from all the blessings and good things we do have happening in our lives. If we stay focused on being grateful for what we have instead of honing in on and feeling bad about what we don’t have, that is a BIG step toward finding more joy and confidence. And moving through life with more joy and confidence leads to a lighter, brighter and more peaceful mind. Doesn’t that sound great?!

You can decide to be thankful and create more special moments for yourself instead of sinking into the unproductive “why me?” or “why not me?” space.

So maybe lay off the social media a bit. Or, when you’re on it, remember that the photos and videos are just brief moments in time that don’t tell the whole story.

Everyone has 1440 minutes in a day and 525,600 minutes (thank you, Rent) in a year. How you want to feel in those minutes is really up to you.