I quite like browsing through the new InstaStories, and seeing what people get up to in real time. I never got the hang of SnapChat, so this copycat move, was a welcome development for some of us.
However, as we are constantly being let into the lives of people - whether pre-recorded or on the go - many people tend to think the grass is greener on another person's feed. From vacation photos, designer pieces, perfect families, 'fleek' faces and 'snapped back bodies', there's an increasing rise in comparison and social media envy. I've seen a lot of bloggers discuss it lately, and for what it's worth, I'll be adding my two cents on practical ways to nip it in the bud!
I remember just two days after I started blogging, I found myself looking at the stats of a blogger who had been in the game for two years. Because she had live feed, I could literally see the stats moving with every click. Talked about it in this post.
Over the weekend, I stumbled on a video by a rather popular YouTube blogger and she discussed how she found herself feeling more insecure - she felt others were better, she didn't feel pretty and her snap back wasn't like some other persons. I didn't watch the full video, but I got the hang of it from the summary and the comments.
It was rather surprising, because hundreds of thousands of people are out there comparing themselves to her. Hoping they could have her kind of man, her YouTube success and her fame.
Unhealthy comparison and envy has a way of sucking you so deep into a dark place. It's almost like a one way misery ticket.
Humans are naturally prone, but hey, we can't give in to such. So, when you find the first few seeds creeping up, here's what to do. This is listed in no particular order, and will depend on particular circumstances.
1. Realise the folly in unhealthy comparison:
Honestly what's there to gain? If you find a good thing about it, please let me know. It's an unhealthy cycle (that will always go on and on), because guess what, someone will ALWAYS be better. So can you please get out of the pit already?
Just log off. It's okay to unfollow certain people on social media if it'll help your sanity and if you realise that 'inspiration' has gradually started crossing the line to the side of envy. At the time of writing this, I'd deleted my IG app. Not because of any particular concerns, but I just felt like doing away with it. I'll obviously have it back up soon, but even if for just 24 -48 hours - it's felt good to disconnect.
3. Perfection is an Illusion
Perfection is an illusion. I learnt this quote as a child it's stuck with me. As they say, don't try to look like the girl in the magazine. Because the girl in the magazine doesn't even look like the girl in the magazine! In this era of apps that whiten your eyes, and insert makeup, and the habit of taking a million selfies to only post one, it'll be ridiculous to stay comparing to what's not real.
You drool at many fashions bloggers constantly with 6 inch heels giving you fashion outfit ideas for daily purposes. But you fail to acknowledge that they had more comfy flat shoes on and only swapped to heels for the duration of the shoot - where they shot 10 different looks at a go. Just recently, I was gushing about an event on social media that literally screamed perfect. Until an insider reviewed it and noted the many hiccups and how it was almost a disaster. We couldn't tell from the photos. Not one bit!
4. Get Busy
The busier you are, the less time you have to notice these things. So if you're constantly noticing them, you don't have enough things on your plate. Go fill it up!
5. Lean In and Learn
Why compare when you can learn? If I constantly find myself envying the well toned arms and abs of someone, how about I lean in and see if I can learn from what they do - and how to improve. Or if someone genuinely seems to manage her family / business better than I do - it's worth learning from her. Either from a distance or reaching out to her and asking directly. If your friend got a better paying job / gig / endorsements, ask how they did it and any tips they may offer. I find that people are honestly really helpful with such things.
6. Comparing Oranges with Apples?
You've probably heard that if we judged a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it'll never succeed. And that's what many of us stay doing - looking at other peoples achievements and successes and comparing it to ours where there's absolutely no relationship! You are unique and different.
In high school, I was totally blown away when I realised the pattern on every single individuals thumb was different! I mean, how amazing. How boring it'll be if we all looked the same and had the same things. I already get pretty bored of the perfectly curated IG feeds and the blogs that seemingly look alike!
7. Celebrate yourself
One thing we probably don't do enough, is celebrate ourselves and our past achievements. We're constantly thinking of the next milestone, and the people who are already there - without taking a minute to look back and see how far we've come, and be truly grateful for this! If we do this often, were less likely to harbour envy. Gratitude and envy don't really mix.
8. Compliment & be genuinely happy for people!
I know some people can pull off complimenting people and still being envious. But it's kinda tough. So find a place in your heart to truly compliment their achievements and envy should flee!
9. Count your blessings!
You want to go on a vacation because everyone on your feed posts photos of crystal clear waters. Valid desires indeed. But have you thought of the thousands of people out there who all they want is a roof above their head? By our very nature we are insatiable beings. But stop, count your blessings. 1. 2. 3.... 100! Can you see how much you've already got?
10. Last Thoughts
I know this is a bit extreme. But extreme times call for extreme measures! So, have a think "At the end of the day, when I'm 100+ and about to leave this earth. Will it really matter that Blogger B had 100k followers while I had 2k. Will I still be green with envy at the designer pieces on Instagram". I guess if you think your answer will be yes, then it's okay to keep being envious and feeling insecure. If not, let it go ok?
In general, you should stop comparing yourself with others and start comparing yourself with you. Have you met your goals and targets you set for yourself? Are you watering your own grass?
Do you ever find social media envy creep up on you? In what areas? and how do you nip this?
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