You’re already running late to work and you’re waiting on the subway that feels like it’s never coming. Assuming you’re lucky enough to have service, you whip out your phone to peruse Instagram to help pass the time. Scrolling though the typical early morning posts of inspirational quotes and delicious breakfasts, you’re suddenly faced with a picture reminding you of someone’s extraordinary life.
You immediately start comparing your life to theirs. It seems like they’ve got everything they could ever want. They’ve got the whole package, looks, a happy relationship, and all the things that you wish you had. Assuming you’re strong enough to move beyond the post, it’s still in the back of your mind. If we’re being honest, by this point you’re probably looking at their profile and all of their recent posts. “They really do have it all,” you think to yourself.
Suddenly, instead of social media helping to ease your anxiety about being late to work, it has now sent you into a downward emotional spiral. Your life can’t even compare to theirs. In an instant, it seems like everyone you follow has a better life than you do.
You start making mental notes of the things they have and now you suddenly think you need. When you have these thing, then you’ll be happy, or so you think. You’re willing to throw away the money you’ve been saving just for the sake of keeping up and feeling good.
Here’s some things you should always remember.
1. This happens to EVERYone
That’s right, everyone falls into this inevitable trap. We’ve all experienced this at one point or another, but most likely on a daily basis. We all have things that we would change about ourselves if given the chance. It could be looks, possessions, relationships, goals, travels, etc. All of which we can be constantly reminded of when we venture into social media. Always remember, everyone wishes they could change certain things and although their lives may seem like they are perfect, they’re actually not.
2. Don’t let their success define what success means to you
Everyone defines success differently. If you start falling into the trap where their life becomes what you define success as, stop yourself. Instead of looking at everything they’ve got, think about what you actually want. Chances are, you only want the things they have because you assume it will make you happy. You most likely wouldn’t want half of the things they have, if you didn’t know they had them.
3. Look at your own profile
The truth is, we all post images that we want the world to think is a snapshot of our lives. We always post the good times and rarely ever post that bad times, unless it will provide some comic relief. By looking at your own profile, you’ll be reminded of all the good times you’ve likely shared with your followers. This serves as a healthy reminder that the same is true of those that you follow. Nobody posts a selfie of themselves crying over their ex-boyfriend. Okay, maybe they do, but most people wouldn’t. Instead, they post the picture of the new romantic flame in their lives, probably in an attempt to make the previous one jealous. Regardless, stop comparing your life to the lives of others, it will get you nowhere but down.