Today, we are discussing the social media curse. Comparing ourselves to others on social media. I’m beyond guilty of this. We all do it but I think it’s even more prevalent amongst influencers. There is this notion when you log in that everyone else doesn’t have any life issues but somehow you do. That “they” all live such a perfect life. We all know this not to be true but somehow that logic goes out of the window the moment we log into social media. The truth is we are humans, we all have issues and feelings. We have ebbs and flows. We have off days, weeks or even months and sometimes a whole year. I went through a point in my life last year where social media coupled with my blog sent me into a dark place of sadness. When I came out of it, I made a promise to myself to never ever go through that again. So, how did I get to a point where I was able to lessen my social media anxiety? I’ll share 4 tips I’ve learned in the past year that has helped me a lot. Hopefully, this can help anyone going through that.
Nothing is real. The reality is, people are mostly showcasing the best aspects of their life onto social media. Especially as influencers, we are literally paid to showcase an embellished version of our lives. We emphasize the best versions of ourselves instead of the real versions. Simply because I know this for a fact, as soon as I feel myself spiraling on someone else’s page and their “perfect lives”, I take a moment to say “remember, this isn’t real”. Your real life is waiting for you outside social media.
Reduce your time on social media. This one is so difficult for me since social media is literally what I do for a living. However, I’ve learned to give myself a 2 hours time out once a day. 2 hours out of each day, I tell myself, I cannot and will not log into social media. This allows me to be present in my real life and practice mindfulness. With mindfulness comes discernment. When you direct your attention toward the real world, you have less time and energy to direct toward meaningless activities such as social comparisons.
Especially avoid looking at profiles of people who trigger thoughts of comparison. You have nothing to gain in doing so besides anxiety and sadness. There are few girls on my feed with such a “perfect” life and much younger than me. Going on their page causes me such anxiety. I’ve never been a jealous person but I’m also human. Of course, I won’t do something as drastic as unfollowing or blocking them (trust me, a girl did this to me because she thought my life was better than hers and she had to “protect her energy”) but I do tend to avoid their profiles and simply focus on mine.
Self Awareness. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your feelings. Assess where those negative comparisons are stemming from and try to figure out why you are having these feelings. Maybe try to develop some self-confidence and self-worth. Personally, each time I make an unfair comparison and start berating myself, I try to view it as an opportunity for a little self-evaluating.
I hope I’m not coming off as demonizing social media since it’s what I do for a living but It’s super easy to go down the social media rabbit hole of friends, family, exes, and friends of friends of friends, all doing sparkly things with beautiful people, and in turn feel like your life doesn’t shine quite as brightly as you thought. Put a leash on your inner snoop and go outside and mingle with the real world. Hope this helps.