2015 POWER  14A. Next To Ad EDITOR AT LARGE - Carla 

 

 

Social Media And The Comparison Disease

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare

our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~ Steve Furtick

 

 

 

We all have certain triggers that can cause our confidence to take a sudden nosedive.   We all know the gut-wrenching feeling that arises when we see or hear something that immediately has us second-guessing our appearance, personality, or skill set.

 

Unfortunately, social media provides us with numerous platforms that help to quickly trigger that unpleasant self-disdain. We start comparing ourselves with friends, neighbors and even strangers, and all of a sudden we feel miserable.

Regardless of how illogical these comparisons may be, our emotional responses to posted images can be so strong that they completely overpower our sense of logic. The reality is, people are constantly showcasing the best aspects of their lives onto social media.

The arrival of a new baby and a recent trip to the Caribbean are both ideal picture-posting occasions. But do these same people post photos of 2:00 a.m. feedings or lost luggage? Not often.

Reality is what is lost on social media. We emphasize the best versions of ourselves instead of the real versions. Life can be hard, ugly, and downright depressing at times. But those likely aren’t the adjectives most of us would use to describe the photos we post onto our accounts.

The feeling of dissatisfaction that we experience when scrolling through our newsfeed often results from comparing our “true reality” to our “friends’” idealized, perfectly “photoshopped” realities.

We are using the same scale to measure two entirely different realities. However, we fail to step back and recognize just how wildly unfair and unrealistic these comparisons actually are.

So how can we stop ourselves from making them?

  1. Reduce your time on social media.

Allow yourself five to 10 minutes a day to check your social media accounts and then be done with it.

  1. Redirect your focus on the things that really matter.

When you direct your attention toward the real world, you have less time and energy to direct toward meaningless activities such as social comparisons.

  1. Assess where those negative comparisons are stemming from.

As unpleasant as these comparisons can feel, they can serve a positive purpose in that they inform us of an area of our lives that may benefit from some improvement such as: relationships, personal time, hobbies and health.

So, next time you make an unfair social comparison, instead of allowing it to make you feel poorly about yourself, view it as an opportunity for a little self-evaluating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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