There has been quite the uproar in recent days about self-comparison, being real vs. fake, what people’s intentions are concerning social media, and the message influencers are sharing, specifically on Instagram. But really, this has been a problem almost since social media was invented and it’s not likely going to stop. But we all need to be aware of it, and that’s the first step to becoming a more decent, less-comparing individual on social media.
When you feel yourself starting to compare, UNFOLLOW!
This is the first step that may seem hard, but is really incredibly simple. If you feel even the least bit of negativity when looking at someone’s post or account, just unfollow them. You might not even realize you are feeling that way. If you find yourself comparing, or wishing your life was more like theirs, just unfollow them. Maybe you have those same thoughts, but in a motivational way. If so, good for you! I admit, when I look a certain accounts, I feel “less than.” Other’s might view the same thing yet they feel empowered and ready to better themselves. Which brings me to my next point…
Your opinions about someone else, whether positive or negative, says more about you than it does about them.
Circumstances are neutral. They have no meaning until you give them meaning. We tell ourselves a story about a circumstance and that determines the details that we end up seeing. We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. You get to choose the story you tell yourself. This takes some serious brain-training but it is possible. I’ve done it! I’m still doing it! It’s a process, but so freeing. What story will you tell yourself?
Standing up for people you agree with is good. Standing up for people you don’t agree with awesome!
It’s easy to stand up for someone you agree with. There is strength in numbers. You feel safe, you feel comfortable. But what if you see someone being bullied over their opinion that you do not agree with. Bullying is never OK. But you can stand up for them even if you don’t agree with them. That takes real strength.
Remember, most of what you see on social media is what people want you to see.
People often display the very best of themselves. A lot of what you see on social media is what someone is trying to sell. Maybe it’s a business trying to sell clothes or home decor. Maybe it’s a blogger trying to sell their book or service. Maybe it’s a stay-at-home-mom trying to sell the fact that she’s a good mom. What you are seeing is what they choose to put on display. Stop comparing their very best to your worst.
On the flip side, realize that some people have strengths where you might not, and that’s OK.
I used to get so frustrated with myself whenever I would see friends post about the amazing party they threw, or their home that looked like it had been decorated by a professional interior designer. Then I realized those just aren’t my strengths, and I really don’t have much of a desire for them to be. Just because they are highlighting their talents doesn’t mean they are fake. What are your strengths? Maybe you don’t feel the need to post about them. If not, good for you. If so, good for you too.
Before you post, comment, or like, think about the message you are really trying to share. Let’s work together to build each other up instead of tearing each other down, especially when the whole world is our audience.