How often do you browse social media and feel unaccomplished because of others’ achievements? Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This is reflected among avid social media users today, especially younger ones. Lattes have gone cold striving to capture the perfect Instagram picture and photographers have gone mad trying to manoeuvre themselves around guests keen on posting entire weddings to their Snapchat story. It seems that everyone is determined to portray to the world how much fun they are having. 

But do filters, likes, and followers guarantee a fulfilling and meaningful life? What is the impact of the stimulation that occurs in constantly viewing other people’s ‘best lives’? Are people the same age as you reaching milestones ‘more easily’ and faster than yourself? Do you feel you are behind or lacking some sort of secret tool to success? Is your sense of self-worth and satisfaction warped by the opinions, approval, and comparison of others? 

Social media is powerful. It informs us of local and international events and emergencies, connects us to resources to make the routine aspects of our daily lives more efficient, and provides a wealth of easily-accessible knowledge. 

On the other hand, “…social media applications are designed so that users tend to showcase a highlight reel of their lives; posting all the positive and important moments and leaving out the negative and mundane. When a user observes these highlight reels from other people, they compare these portrayals to the worst parts of themselves, causing feelings of shame, irrelevance, and inferiority. These feelings can lead users to engage in destructive approval-seeking behaviors.” Every blogger, entrepreneur, and influencer has had their share of setbacks, rejection, and rock bottom. The posts you see on social media, even those of ‘friends’, are crafted to portray perfection anywhere from relationships to social hangouts. What is behind closed doors is often another story.     

If you find yourself in a self-loathing state, paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy, it may be time to set restrictions on social media usage. You may use the example of peers and accomplished individuals as inspiration to reach your own goals, meanwhile deciding what success means to you. Many times, we put ourselves down for having less, not stopping to think, “Is this what I even want?”, “Is this thing I do not have even good for me?” or “Am I ready for this?” 

Try not to forget how blessed you are when you see someone with what you do not have and remember, you too have something someone else does not. Consistently gazing at the grass of others can make us ungrateful and disappointed. Do not allow comparison to steal your happiness, peace, and self-worth. Instead, let it steal your laziness, excuses, and all the reasons holding you back from being your best self!