Currently listening to J Cole’s KOD which totally has no relation to what I’m about to write about but seriously do check him out if you haven’t, listen again and again and just be inspired… You’re welcome.
So about what I really want to say, social media envy…
I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but every time the day approached for me to pick up my pen and draft it, I couldn’t. Not because I was too busy, but because talking about envy is a vulnerable act that confronts dark feelings I am often ashamed to feel. So yes, it’s something I’ve had to personally deal with, well I still deal with it on some days.
I have insecurities and moments of feeling too inferior to others who appear to have it all but social media has to some extent made it a bit worse and I am not alone. Envy is deeply woven into the experience of using of social media, like so deep that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has been added to our vocabulary and FOMO simply is an almost inevitable product of witnessing…well witnessing other people’s lives.
The problem with our hypercompetitive culture, of course, is that human happiness risks being reduced to just one aspect of well-being: achievement.
There are many times I’ve scrolled through Instagram, clicked on the username of a highly profiled person and skimmed through his/her page filled with colorful pictures from their life – a beautiful home, sponsored vacation, expensive buys and hauls, stuff that’s worth a whole lot more than mine, exciting work, a beautiful and budding relationship and their picturesque life together…by the time I get to the end of the gallery (and trust me, I almost always get there), feelings of depression envelope me. I sulk and complain and sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t interact with others because of my dark cloud. When I get over it eventually, I marvel at the intensity of the experience…how could images of someone’s wonderful life cause feelings of intense dissatisfaction in my own?
While I’m still struggling with this, I’ve found a few ways that has definitely made it easier and set me on a journey of getting inspired instead of envious. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience…it’s unavoidable to relate your life with someone else especially when they are in the same field as you but when it turns into comparison that leaves you feeling sad, it becomes dangerous. So while envy is a natural reaction, you can combat it with positive thoughts and gratitude. Here’s what I’ve been doing lately to ward off social media envy;
* Reminding myself of my own blessings
I started making gratitude lists…when I start to sulk or feel sad or complain about what is not in my life, I immediately start to point out the things I have. I say how grateful I am for them, nothing is too small to not be grateful for.
*Find out the why
I tried to understand why I was envious…sometimes it wasn’t because I necessarily wanted to be them, it was because some of the things I saw in theirs, I wanted in mine. Their pictures were creative, they always smiled and it was obvious they took out time for themselves, with this, I turned my feelings of frustration into useful information to make myself better.
*Approach with a different mindset
To some extent, every picture is intended to garner a reaction which translates into; they are posed. Even though most people are telling the truth, they are just choosing a number of truths to tell so instead of beating myself up, I tried my hardest to remember this.
I also approach social media as a way to interact with people who already like and know the real me and as my journey towards growth and development, like this I started to see other people’s pictures as just that.
I started to nurture face to face relationships and reduce the time I spent on social media sites and use that time to do something I enjoyed. Talking about it with others can help you put it in perspective. It can be nice to realize you are not the only one who notices a mood shift after reading about all the great things your friends are doing with their lives.
When all of this doesn’t seem to work for me, I just stay off. I walk away. I might come online once or twice a week as opposed to staying online everyday or make a clean break and just stay away till it doesn’t take a toll on how I see myself, sometimes this might mean weeks or months. It’s easier to focus on and love myself when I’m not comparing myself to others online and I think you’d find that it’s easier too. Unplug and take time to live your own life doing the things you love with the people that matter to you.
Everyone has their own share of challenges and problems and things always never is as they seem. Life isn’t easy but it can be simple. Doing a comparison between ourselves and someone else is completely normal, we do it everyday. It is not bad to compare yourself to others as long as that comparison doesn’t affect your feeling of self-worth positively or negatively, meaning it is bad if we use others to make ourselves feel better or worse about ourselves. Our opinion of ourselves should be stable and independent of the status of others. To be stable in our opinion of self-worth requires understanding our self-worth in a context independent of others. That being said, feel better for them and be inspired…only.
Love and warmth,
Featured image: Social media envy by Chaz Russo (gotten from dribble)
Quote picture : Rupi Kaur
The blog was a month old two days ago and while I’m here looking back and thanking God that I started, I want to say that it’d not be complete if I don’t tell my subscribers, followers etc thank you for the love, for the comments, likes, shares and everything…I am truly grateful and blessed. You all are wonderful and I love y’all… This is where I stop to wipe my tears and blow my nose 😀…thank you all once again. Love and warmth my darlings.
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