Now being a blogger and having social media accounts as a way of promoting my blog, of course, I am grateful that social media exists. However, I am also really aware of the issues that it can cause too.
Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt.
People mostly only share their highlights on social media. They share the romantic dinners, the finished organising or tidying, and the holiday photos. What they do not share is how they look when they first get out of bed, the arguments, and the sleepless nights worrying about debts and other issues. So if you are comparing yourself and your life to lives being presented to you on social media it is a pointless exercise.
Everyone, including myself, does it. It is a bit like attending a job interview. You tell them all of your good points as you want them to like you and hire you. Social media is the same, you want to present your best self to the world.
Many famous people and top influences will actually go to great lengths to try and sell the image of a perfect life. The problem is there is no such thing as perfect. You are only seeing a snapshot of someone and you can not see the rest of what is going on behind the camera.
I know someone personally who constantly posts pictures of themselves with their partner looking like the ‘perfect’ couple with captions about how perfect their partner is and how thankful they are to be so blessed. However, I also know about the countless times they have nearly split up and the many, many arguments that they have but that is not shared on social media. So anyone looking at the accounts would think ‘wow, why can’t my relationship be like that’.
Filters and photoshop
Then there are all of the apps you can get that can change everything about how a person looks from the size of their waist to the colour of their teeth! Now, I love using apps such as PicsArt to add stickers and make my Instagram grid pictures look more bright and fun. The problem is when they are used to make someone look stick thin with the perfect complexion and then passed off as being real photographs.
This can be particularly harmful to younger people when they are bombarded with images of people that look so thin that if you turned them sideways, they would disappear. They have stylists and make-up artists and professional photographers who know how to use the best light and angels to get the best results and then they still use editing software to make the models look thinner.
What should I do?
Firstly, try and always keep in mind that you are only seeing a small part of the big picture, so try not to take what you see so seriously. If you find that viewing certain accounts tend to make you doubt yourself or feel down, then why not unfollow those and find some more relatable positive accounts to follow instead. I am not going to say stop using social media, as to me in the age that we live in, I feel that it is too unrealistic.
If you find that you use it for much of your day then you may benefit from reducing the time spent on it as endlessly scrolling for hours at a time is not a healthy habit to have. You want it to be an enjoyable experience so make sure you feel happy once you have finished using it.
If you catch yourself comparing yourself to something you have seen on social media, try and take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Remember that all is not always as it seems and circumstances vary so much that comparisons are really a pointless exercise.