It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially in this day and age. With the popularity of photo-based social media, like Instagram and Snapchat, the exciting moments of other people’s lives are constantly thrown in our faces. It can be heart-wrenching to see everyone around us going on exotic trips, enjoying stimulating jobs, having drinks with beautiful friends and spouses, always eating healthy meals, etc., without questioning our own lives. My question is, are people really as happy as they portray themselves to be on social media? To maintain our sanity, should we stay focused on ourselves and not on the people around us?
I have had trouble with comparing myself to others in the past. I would look at somebody my age who may be more successful and become incredibly depressed. To combat this, my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 was to stop comparing myself to others and to go at my own pace. While this was a good idea in theory, all the resolution did was reveal how often I make these comparisons. Anytime I saw a friend’s Instagram post about going out somewhere nice, I would start to question why I didn’t go out as often. When someone I knew got a new job, I would become depressed that I wasn’t as successful. I even started to go through old college classmates’ Facebook accounts, to see if they were more successful than me, in their professional and personal lives. I finally noticed how toxic this behavior was to my self-worth. We all know that what we see on Instagram and Snapchat isn’t reality. People pose and photoshop to get the best picture possible before posting it for the world to see. I started realizing that building my self-respect based on how others displayed themselves, was counter-productive and damaging. It also wasn’t real.
I proved this to myself recently when my husband and I went on a cruise for our anniversary. We were lounging on beautiful, tropical beaches (finally, in the settings that I see in so many Instagram posts). My husband and I took a lot of photos – not for social media, but to remember our vacation. Later, when going through the photos, I noticed that while we were having fun, the photos were dreadful. We were either sunburned, drunk, or just not camera ready. I didn’t wear make-up, do my hair, or wear anything stylish. I was, however, happy and relaxed. The reason being, instead of focusing on getting the perfect picture, we were busy enjoying ourselves. We never posed or photoshopped any of our pictures. We just took a photo whenever we wanted.
Seeing my photos made me realize that to take a perfect photo, I would have had to take the time and effort to put on my makeup, style my hair, etc. – this was never convenient at the time, nor would it have been spontaneous. When seeing other people’s lives on social media, we must remind ourselves that what we see isn’t reality. Those perfect photos in luxurious settings are taken to boost someone else’s self-esteem by trying to make us envious – those photos are not taken to preserve the memories of their trip. I finally realized that it was better to enjoy the moments of my life, instead of spending all my time and energy taking the perfect photo.
1 : Stop comparing your life to the perfect and beautiful lives seen on social media.
2 : Do not fall into the trap of tying your self-worth and self-respect to photos on social media.
3 : The lives we see on social media are not reality.Category: Social Media/the Media / Subcategory: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Tags: Instagram, Snapchat, comparing, depressed, counter-productive, pictures, photo, envious, reality, perfect