“social media ‘is a megaphone for achievements and a magnifying glass for insecurities, and when you start comparing your insecurities with another person’s achievements, it’s a recipe for anxiety’.”
That’s the opening line of article i read today, and it got me thinking. Every day, first thing in the morning, I check my Facebook, IG,Path almost every media social I have, only to have it list off for me all the ways I’ve already fallen behind/haven’t done and sometimes, just sometimes…makes me just want to crawl deeper in my blanket and never woke-up.
Another relatives giving birth of another beautiful babies, another relatives taking picture of wonderful Japan trip for like 5 times in a month, a friend sunbathing while zipping champange in Santoria, another friend taking breathtaking picture of her adventure of Island hopping (and getting payed for doing it), And another friend have recieved Woman Of The Year Award for helping children in rural province, for SECOND TIME…looking phenomenal, polished and amazing (while i’m still in my pajamas, bleary-eyed and definietly not at my most photogenic self)
Am I really falling behind? Is anybody actually keeping score? What the hell have i done with my life lately? Did any of these people post any of the updates with the intent of making me feel bad? OF COURSE NOT! But if I’m not careful, it can be terribly easy to view my social media streams as a constant reminder of all the stuffs I’m not doing, dreams I’m not fulfilling, and rooms I’ve failed to decorate in a Pinterest-worthy manner.
Seeing it all of course brings me joy and admiration, though i must admit there’s slight of envy comes sneak in. Which i believe, admiration and envy are responses that point us toward what we value most. So if i envied all of those things, is that means that I’m out of luck or not trying hard enough?
In a world where followers and likes can seem like rock-solid proof of a person’s worth, this can really gets into your nerve. There will always be someone who posts pictures that make it look like they have it all better than yours. And as a human being destined to be social, comparison will comes naturally and will always be the first to kick-in! Then comes the logic (and why the hell logic always comes second?). Here’s what i think and than do when the first thought comes and the second kick, just for the sake of keep me sane.
I WISH I COULD GET PAID TO SEE THE WORLD
Who wouldn’t wanna get paid to get travel around the world, meeting new people, culture, eating the unique most appealing local delicacy (kil lme now) But then my second thought kick, doing this once in a while is fun, specially when you’re single and fabulous, no string attach, no obligation, no boundaries. But I don’t wanna wake up every day at 4 am getting all pretty and camera ready for the sake of taking beautiful picture, trolling around town looking for the untouched places/spot taking picture without a chance to enjoy vibe of the town it self, shooting some hotel content and stay up late at night still have to plan out for tomorrow’s trip. Eating most tempting food in front of the camera. And have to wake up another 4 am to catch early flight to another place or country without having chance to explore the city it self. And what if someday i get sick or bored or just wants to stay low without makeup the whole day, eating my self out of box of pizza or savoring those good looking Nasi Pecel with hands without posing? Doing nothing beside gardening, cooking and enjoy the Netflix whole week or month? Will they still paid me?
I WISH I WAS 30 SOMETHING SINGLE, SUCESSS AND FABOULOUS
Well lets admit it, it’s a dream of every women, staying forever young fabulous and success. You have every chance to meet sweet most sexiest man and dump him for another bad-ass, kick-ass (what ever ass) he had, that famous “bad boy” that-you-know-will-break-your-heart-but-you-date-him-anyway. Attend to every happening party in town, with your good looking famous Girl Gank, you’re what they called “The It Girl”. And than logic comes-in bang my head on reality wall. Of course i cant defy gravity, obviously i can’t turn back time. I had those time! Time when all i think was fun, work and leisure, but there’s also time when i had to struggle those cold lonely night when there’s no one to hold on to, laying sleepless at night after seeing big rock on my best friend hands and how the brightness of her face blinded my single eyes and got me awake at night in my sweet scent of fresh laundry sheet, holding my phone wishing that just for this once, it rings. I want that certain someone to hold my hand when that cold harsh reality out there hit me. Fighting crying and than kiss and made-up till death do us part? I want someone who loves me long after the beauty fade. And gladly I’ve found it, why would i wanna go back to that rabbit hole again? But yeah, that’s the perk of social media, sometimes you need something to knock your socks off to remind you of what you have and be thankful for it.
I WISH I WAS AS SUCCESSFUL AS YOU
Who wouldn’t wanna be post in every magazine and every news paper for receiving most prestige’s awards for helping children, or helping another human being in needs or cover in magazine as most successful woman of the year of your achievement? I was suffering from a terrible case of envy. But then i realize, one thing i forgot, i have no idea what it took for them to get there. What they struggled, what they sacrifice, how much blood and sweat it has. Don’t act like this was unearned, effortless, or pure dumb luck. And for st. Pete’s sake, don’t go thinking that because you read the press release, you have a single clue about what’s really going on behind the scenes. I knew better, yet in the moment that I’d heard the news, I fell prey to reactive thinking and over-simplification. Because it’s much easier to look at someone “up there” and envy what they’ve got than it is. Better focus on what’s on my own plate and make it damn well good, so at the end of the day you can say, “I’ve done good, i did it well. I make people happy” that’s something you and I can agreed to be proud of.
I WISH I HAD THAT (INSERT MATERIALISTIC THINGS HERE)
I must admit, i still had that Chanel Boy Bag on my wish list, trip to see magical Northern Lights on Iceland in my 10 list of Things To See Before I Die, and that beautiful old house in Teuku Cik Ditiro (which’s now ruin, sad) in my wish-list board. But then i look at my simple handmade tote i made myself, i was so proud to wear it coz no one will ever had it, because I made it! A silly conversation to a fight, trying to stay awake so he wont fall a sleep on our long Java road-trip, and seeing him struggle to manage without cursing, driving in small town that i enjoy so much, while he preferred highway, just because i said, it was the most happiest childhood memories I had in my life. And that trip we had, i wouldn’t change for anything!. And this small little house he build with the thought of putting up with my 8 dogs in it (because he knew i couldn’t live without my dogs) the house that he build with blood and sweat of his own hands, all of those things simply sway my green of envy away…And this meant simply looking at all the people I’d been comparing myself to and saying, “I don’t need to have anything nicer than you. You have the better story and the cooler stuff. You win. I lose”. Admitting my own defeat, means acceptance of how and who we are. We all want a newer car, a nicer wardrobe, designer “it” bag and a bigger house, but what would it feel like to surrender your need for those things and seek to find contentment with what you already have? Learn to accept and remember to be thankful everyday, to me, that’s the only way to really win.
I WISH I CAN POST HOW PRETTY MY BABIES ARE.
Seeing how adorable those pink cheek, big smile with two teeth showing, always (most of the time) pinch my heart a ‘lil. Don’t you feel something missing in your life, without children laughter? Well first, you wont miss a thing if you never had it! Secondly, Who wouldn’t want that? Who in the right mind wouldn’t say that those babies smile was most beautiful things in the world? But hey, here’s the news, we try and it’s just not our time yet. We had it and we lost it, God’s will, accept it (like i had)! I keep telling my self, that maybe i had another purpose in this life, which not include babies in it. And seeing my cousins have to spend almost whole her day doing, laundry, cooking, cleaning house with the sound of screaming baby and nagging infant, or going somewhere with 2 full bag with babies stuffs, juggling to keep everybody’s happy, somehow makes me thankful that all i have to deal is 8 dogs and if they scream too loud, i could just simply yell and put them in cage, that’s it…no muss no fuzz. Somehow every single fiber in my 40 something body just happy with quite and simple no muss no fuzz stuffs. And so for that reason, I better work my ass of, doing something more meaningful in life everyday, like taking care of people i love most, sharing talent to other people so they can have better life or what ever, which i believe no matter how little your effort is it’ll get to where they belongs.
At the end of the day, i come to think that those whose posts are making us feel inferior are likely going through the exact same thing every time they scroll through their feed. No one is safe from this trap!.
we’re all doing a little bit of self-marketing. We’re putting something out there that tells the world we’re okay. But what would happen if we stopped marketing ourselves on social media and started being a little more honest? I’m not talking about airing all your dirty laundry; I’m suggesting making your social media accounts a more authentic representation of your life, your struggles, and your ups and downs. I believe this would allow us all feel a little bit better about ourselves if we could easily see that we’re all really going through similar things.
There will be days where we see someone accomplishing something inspiring before 8 a.m. and instead of beating ourselves up about it, we will say, Remember, COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY.
Facebook, Path, Twitter and Instagram are excellent tools to keep in touch with others and document moments of your life you want to celebrate or remember. But you have a life beyond the internet. Your follower count doesn’t correlate to your character, your sense of belonging or the health of your relationships. Ultimately, my tweets, Instagram posts or status updates will disappear into the content black hole of days past.
I’ve decided it’s much more worthwhile to create something that will last, like writing a book, or blog that can help inspire people specially women or investing in my friendships with the time I could be trying to take the perfect ‘gram.
We’re all messy, flawed human beings and very little will change that, regardless of what our perfectly curated Pinterest boards may argue. Whenever you’re feeling envy or a gnawing sense that their life is perfect and yours is just not, remember that social media rarely, if ever, shows the whole picture. Is there more to life than insta feed?
Is this my real life? Yep. But it’s not the entire story…
For every delicious looking meal on Instagram, there is most likely one that was boring or burnt. For every fun weekend night out, there’s another one spent at home sitting on my couch. And then there’s those huge gaps of time where I’m not posting on social media and consumed with work. There’s fights with my husband and life’s other little dramas. And that’s life.
There were times when you’re feed with envy by your social media feeds, and compare it with your own life, it’s oke you’re human embrace it. But when ever you did, remember this… Comparison can be a dark, stuck place, only if you let it be. There’s gold to be found in your comparison habit, if you’re willing to look for it. The light we see in others can help us see our own – and appreciate it.
So, next time you’re feeling the urge to start to compare yourself to others on the internet, take a look at your personal highlight reel and remember how good you have it. Be grateful for your story, the good and bad, or simply unfollow those that you think might be negatively impacting the way you see yourself and move on with your day.
. As Dave Ramsey says, “Never compare someone else’s highlight reel with your behind-the-scenes footage.”
So, do you experience the same thing? Getting trap in media social comparison? I would like to know, what you do about it. Till then have a nice day!