In this technological age where everyone is constantly connected through tweets, status updates, and photos, there is this crushing weight of constantly comparing the seemingly-perfect lives of those in the virtual world to our own daily reality. In our logical brain, we know that it is irrational to assume the people we see on Instagram with designer handbags and 13k followers have perfectly unblemished lives. But, we still spiral into this whirlwind of depression, anxiety, and sadness brought on by our constant comparison of our real lives to the assumed online profiles of others.
Here’s the issue; we are in an age where technology has become deeply woven into our everyday. From cell phones to tablets, we are constantly locked into social media and the anxiety it brings on. When you are constantly checking and rechecking what is going on online and losing focus on your actual life, it is inevitable to start to compare yourself.
Your online friends are sharing the happiest moments in their lives. So, the new baby your brother just had, the trip to Bali your high school girlfriends just took, the new home your boss just bought; you compare all of those life achievements to what is happening in your real life. Even if you don’t want any of those things, it is nearly impossible to not feel the anxiety growing with every scroll.
But, how do we fix this in a world of constant connection?
Before you log on to your social media accounts in the morning, take a second to think about the good that is happening in your own life. Be grateful and fulfilled with what you have right now so that you don’t go online looking for validation for your happiness. Remember that the best moments are spent living and not posting.
Social Media Detox
Detox’s are great because they are short, extreme ways to get all of the junk out of your system. When it comes to social media, a detox can help you regroup and approach social media with a clearer mind. Simply spend a day being present in your life – no selfies, no filters, no clever remarks. Take a walk, read a book, enjoy your day without the stress of social media. Don’t value a moment based on how many likes it will get.
Everything is a Mirage
The first thing you need to understand about social media is that nothing is really as it seems. All of the photos, likes, and statuses are one small piece of a huge puzzle that you can’t see. That new car your college roommate just bought and broadcasted about is not going to include the tears, loans, and saving she had to do to get there. Understand that for every magical, perfectly posed picture on social media there are at least 50 not so picture perfect moments that got instantly deleted.
Comparison on social media is a trap that can toss you into a realm of depression, sadness, and anxiety. Practice gratitude, establish a monthly detox, and understand that not everything online is what it seems and you will be just fine.