An Introverted Actress

How Do I Stop Comparing Myself To Others On Social Media?

I often find myself wondering what life was like before social media. I was around in those pre-historic times. I’m old enough to remember what the dial up tone sounds like and when a computer was the size of a Fiat Punto but I’m young enough not to have had social media during my childhood. I first logged on to Facebook when I was fifteen. Twitter followed soon after and then YouTube a few years after that. I guess, what I really don’t remember is a life where I wasn't constantly confronted with other people’s lives and therefore constantly making comparisons. Am I as happy as they are? Why don’t they ever seem sad when I have a cry most days?  Am I meant to have got married and had babies yet? I’m nearing 30 and they seem to have their lives totally figured out? Then I check my insta inbox and I have messages asking me how I seem so together and I laugh and laugh and laugh because the illusion is shattered for a brief moment. 

Social media is a highlight reel. It’s so easy to forget that no one gets their cameras out when they're having a terrible day. Very rarely does anyone film themselves being moody, angry or sad. It's all best bits with none of the shit that comes in between all the best bits. When the bin bag splits open as you're carrying it outside. Or when you think you've found a bit of icing on the sofa from a biscuit you were eating only to put it in your mouth and discover it's cat litter (this actually happened to me). And I get it. Who even thinks about getting their cameras out at their worst moments? Not me. And so this illusion is created. Everyone’s life is perfect but our own.  The truth is so simple and yet so forgettable. We’re all human. We all have bad days. Days we want to hide away from the world. We’re all guilty of trying to make our lives look a little glossier but no one is impervious to a bit of darkness. We all have our moments. Even Beyoncé. 

We’ve lost the art of minding our own business. Imagine that we’re all neighbours on a street with gardens. We’re all so busy looking over the fences into each other’s gardens that when we look at our own, things never look quite as green or rosy. But we forget that before we even looked over the fence...we were happy with the way our garden looked! It never even occurred to us that something was wrong with our gardens until we saw someone else's and began to compare and contrast. Suddenly, gazing over the fence and measuring the growth of someone else's sunflowers against our own becomes addictive. Even when we know how badly seeing other people’s trees growing taller and flowers blooming brighter makes us feel. We become so obsessed with watching other people tend their gardens, we let our own gardens go unwatered, un-nurtured and overgrown with weeds. So, instead of watching someone else water their flowers, water your own. You have the potential to have a seriously beautiful garden but you gotta stop spending your time on things that won’t benefit the growth of your flowers and only benefit the growth of your weeds. 

So, unfollow all the accounts that make you feel worse about your life. Even if you LOVE them and think they’re amazing. It’s not worth the strain on your own mental health. Do a little social media cull and then find accounts that inspire you to keep pushing forwards and motivate you towards your goals. Or simply just accounts that make you feel warm and loved. Create a little safe and positive place for yourself that you’ll look forward to visiting every day instead of a place that swallows time and happiness. Comparison is the thief of joy so don’t give it the chance to steal from you. 



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