Comparison is the thief of joy. – Roosevelt

September 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

We live in a voyeuristic world.

We have Facebook where we can update our deepest or most mundane thoughts every minute of the day. We have Instagram where we can post pictures of art or of the tasty meal we just ate. We have the ability to show the world what we’re doing in that very moment.

In a way, it’s beautiful to share life. I love seeing what’s going on the lives of my family members who live so far away. I love being inspired by pictures of healthy food, beautiful people, and magical moments in life.

But, sometimes, looking at these picture perfect moments in time has the potential to make us feel the opposite of what they should make us feel, which is good, happy, inspired, and connected or plugged into life. Sometimes social media can make us feel like we’re lacking or like our lives suck.

The reason social media can make us feel so bad about our own lives is summed up in one dirty word – comparison.

Comparison is an act of violence against the self.
Iyanla Vanzant

When we look at pictures of beautiful people we’re getting a snapshot of one moment in time. And generally a really short moment. I mean, how many seconds does it take to snap a photo, or write a gushing Facebook post about how awesome your kids are?

Not long.

Social media is where we share our good things. We share our pictures that make us feel the prettiest. We share the stories that make our heart sing, the quotes that move us, and the good things in life.

And we should. We should share all the beauty and love that we can because love heals all wounds. We should share the good in life, the hope, the beauty.

On the flip-side, we have to be aware that someone else’s perceived joy does not take away from our own. Maybe you follow someone on Instagram and she always looks perfect in her photos, or you follow the blog of a mom with four kids who lives in a picture perfect house, always looks put together, makes awesome meals, and appears to have a picture perfect existence.

It’s easy to look and think that she’s got it all figured out. It’s easy to look at your own life and compare and see the areas in which you may feel like your life is lacking.

Maybe your house is a wreck, you’re exhausted because your baby is teething (I know I am!), and you’re not getting along with your significant other, and you just burned dinner for the second time this week. Or maybe you’re feeding your kids fast food again because you’re too tired to cook.

You may look at your favorite blogger and wonder why she has it so great and things are so hard for you.

The truth is that there is no comparison, and not because you’re not up to snuff to even compare. There is no comparison because it’s not a competition.

We all live different, unique lives and that’s what we’re supposed to do.

There is also no comparison because you’re seeing a life that is curated like an art show. You see the few good minutes of someone’s day. The golden moments. You don’t see the bad moments. The moments when your favorite blog queen’s baby pooped all over her outfit, or when your favorite Instagram goddess failed a test at school or got yelled at by her boss.

You don’t know that maybe your favorite Instagrammer is struggling with depression and her perfectly styled pictures of her meals are the only thing keeping her sane.

We all have our own personal struggles. What we see on social media is just one small glimpse into the fishbowl.

And even if your favorite social media peeps are having a relatively bliss-filled existence (and hopefully they are) and life is great on a regular basis (as it should be), it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, your life or that you are somehow less than.

Your life is beautiful because it’s your life. It’s the only one you’ve got.

If you feel yourself feeling down because of what you see on social media, it’s time for three things:

1. A Social Media Detox. Take time away from social media. Don’t check out Facebook, Instagram, Kik, We Heart It, Tumblr, or anything else. Instead, plug into your own life. Go outside for a walk. Dance in the mirror to your favorite song, read your kids that same story again. Like your life like you would a Facebook post.

2. Practice Gratitude. Think about five things that you are truly thankful for. Do you have a place to live? Well, that’s something to be thankful for. Do you have great friends who always make you laugh? It can be anything from the perfect cup of tea to being thankful for your partner. Expressing gratitude raises your vibration and calls more goodness into your life.

3. Do Something For Someone Else. Give up your seat on the bus, offer to make dinner even if it’s not your night, offer to babysit for a friend. When you’re feeling off doing something for someone else is a great way to bring yourself back to the present and to remind yourself how great your life is.

Your Love Thought of the Day: I am perfect just as I am.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Like the Life You’re Living, Live the Life You Like « Yroko Marie - March 4, 2014

    […] how Facebook can be a curated version of a person’s life. Even I have written about that and how we shouldn’t compare our daily lives to someone’s highlight reel. But, the sad posts filled with what seems like so much pain, hurt and frustration are harder to […]

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