3 Tips on How to Steer Clear of the Social Media Comparison Trap
I'm curled up in a fetal position, sobbing.
It's only 8am.
The culprit...I scrolled through Facebook.
Maybe I'm exaggerating a little. I am not actually curled up in a fetal position sobbing my eyes out. At least not today.
But many times I have let what I see on Facebook cause me to feel downright shameful. I get sucked into the comparison trap in a matter of seconds.
We all do it. We compare our lives, our businesses, our kids, our bodies, our houses. Even though we hate how it makes us feel, we do it anyway.
And social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram plop a massive magnifying glass right on top of our comparison and make it so overpowering that we struggle to think rationally.
- never thin enough
- never clean enough
- never organized enough
- never important enough
- never pretty enough
- never thoughtful enough
- never happy enough
- never successful enough
- never good enough
We scroll through our newsfeed and see all the ideal pictures. Perfectly decorated homes, romantic date nights, fancy new cars, over the top science fair projects, selfies, toned bodies, all edited with just the right filter.
Then we take our head out of our phones and look up to see dirty dishes in the sink, mounds of unfolded laundry, and we hear the kids fighting in the bedroom down the hall.
Practice these tips and steer clear of the social media comparison trap:
Ask yourself...is this real life?
Yep! But it isn't the whole story. For every fun weekend night out there is another one sitting at home on the couch binging on Netflix and Blue Bell ice cream. For every delicious meal depicted on your Instagram feed there is most likely ten other fast food trips through the drive thru.
Remember that we all show our highlight reel on social media. We leave the messy stuff to be experienced in private.
Don't compare your behind the scenes with someone else's highlight reel.
Don't start your day with social media.
This makes a world of difference for me. Each morning that I start my day in prayer, mediation, and filling my head with goodness from a self development book I do a much better job of keeping the comparison demons away.
Most of us practically sleep with our phones. Before our feet even hit the floor we are scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed.
You instantly see that Susie and her hubby celebrated 12 years of marital bliss at a fancy dinner last night. You suddenly realize that your anniversary was last week and you and your hubby both forgot. Ouch! Next thing you know you are calling your therapist because you think your marriage is in the tubes.
Start your day by filling yourself with positive, empowering thoughts instead of Facebook or Instagram.
Spend most of your time with people OFF LINE.
Put your phone away and spend time with people face to face. Gather your girlfriends together for a girls' night out, host a dinner party at your house, have a family movie night with loads of buttered popcorn.
I wonder. Did it really happen if we don't post about it?
Designate certain times to enjoy social media throughout the day and the rest of the time, stay off of it.
Don't let Facebook or Instagram steal not only your joy but your precious time as well.
The purpose of social media is to connect with our family and friends. Period.
Next time you find yourself triggered by someone's Facebook or Instagram pics, head over to my Facebook page for some encouragement and love. And share this post with your gal pals...we all need to know how to stop ourselves from falling into the "social media comparison trap".