I love social media as much as the next guy. Maybe more. But it can put a substantial dent in the ole’ self-esteem. We’ve all been there, where you’re laying in bed in the morning, scrolling through Instagram, looking at all of the cool things your friends did last night, the photos of bloggers wearing cute outfits while standing in front of views that you and your bank account can only dream of, and countless celebrities with hot bods and glossy hair that you just can’t seem to achieve. Now an hour has passed and you’ve accomplished nothing but making yourself feel like a piece of trash, and you haven’t even had your morning coffee yet.
When being faced with images of other people’s lives, it is nearly impossible not to compare them to our own. We see a photo of someone’s outfit and think “Ugh I need to start dressing cooler” or “Why can’t I be rich so I can have a better wardrobe?”. We see someone’s vacation photos and think about how cool their life is and how much our own sucks in comparison. We see someone’s flawless selfie on Instagram and we feel less flawless ourselves. Next time you feel yourself getting down because of what you’re seeing on social media, may these few points be helpful reminders.
1. Social media allows us to show the world the parts of our lives that we want them to see.
And nothing else. Which is fine, as long as we don’t forget that. It has become a platform for showing off the best parts of our lives, and allows us to create an image of ourselves that isn’t necessarily 100% of who we really are. This is not a bad thing, it is simply important to remember. Those celebrities and Instagram models you obsess over, probably spend 90% of their time looking exactly the same as you, doing the exact same things that you do. Social media is not real life.
2. It’s not a competition.
We all have different qualities and different opportunities in life, and our differences are supposed to be what makes the world interesting. There is so much pressure these days to be like everybody else, and so much desire to be a replication of someone we admire. I am guilty of this too. It kind of goes along with the previous point – the things we choose to show the world are often the things that people will be jealous of or that might make people wish they were us. And when you do find yourself feeling jealous or resentful towards an aspect of your own life, simply because it’s different than someone else’s, just remember that life is about finding your own forms of happiness, not repeating or “one-upping” someone else’s.
3. We have a tendency to want the things that we don’t have.
While you’re sitting there admiring someone else, wishing you were them, chances are, there are others doing the exact same to you. It’s so hard to look at the highlights of other people’s lives and not feel worse about yours. It’s hard to look at flawless photos of others without feeling less flawless yourself. But there are a zillion different kinds of flawless. It’s normal for us to wish we had the things that other people have. But chances are, there are people who look at you and wish they had things that you had. What you think is perfect, is not what everyone thinks is perfect. So stop neglecting your own qualities, because there’s a good chance that someone else admires them.
4. Self-love is a process.
But it starts with being able to accept that we’re all different, and have different good things going for us. Try to embrace these qualities, rather than constantly wish you were more like someone else. We don’t all have to be replications of each other. Admire other people’s beauty and success without questioning your own.