“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Let me just say that I believe that these days, this type of thievery has reached rampant levels, especially in my generation. I’m a part of Generation Y a.k.a. the Millenials (who get hated on all the time for having Peter Pan syndrome, feeling entitled etc. ) and who’ve been known for having an obsession with the self(ie). That’s a whole different discussion though. I’m focusing on the damage comparisons can have on daily lives.
As much as a blessing social media has become, it’s also a curse. If you choose to partake in one of the various social mediums, you spend your time sharing (or over-sharing) pieces of your life. You also see the supposed ins and outs of the lives of others. And you start to covet. Wonder. Want. Why don’t I have that? Why can’t I look that good? Ooh, I want that.
Maybe some folks don’t struggle with that *side eye* however, there have been plenty of studies that have shown that social media can make folks unhappy. For example, check out this study from Kyra’s alma mater, the University of Michigan. I’ll be the first one to say that I’ve found myself questioning where I was positioned in comparison to others. The saddest thing about it is that 99.9% of what we put out in social media is what we want others to see and believe about us (duh). And even though most people have caught wind of this, we’re still trying to keep up with the Jones’ in several aspects. I totally understand why some people go off the grid and unplug from it all and just live, undocumented.
So what if we take out the “others” component and we’re just left with the “self?” I’m in week 2 of this mash up of the Daniel Plan. Besides altering my diet, I’ve pulled back on the amount of time I spend on social media and let me just say it’s been a breath of fresh air. I’ve been doing a bit of a weening process because I realized that I spend a lot of time on there. Whether it’s getting in my laughs from Twitter, updates from fam/friends on Facebook, and perusing pretty snapshots on Instagram—it takes up a lot of TIME. Time away from my real self.
Afterall, there’s more to the self than a basic selfie:
I’m not saying that others out there can’t inspire you or at least help you gauge what your particular goals should be. It’s great to have a model that is a positive influence (I’ve had models for my education, career etc.) I just think that there is a slippery slope which can lead to discontentment. At the end of the day there are so many issues that we ALL face and you never know what another person is going through. So the next time you find yourself in the grips of comparison, just stop. Think of your own progress! Sure I have my issues, which all don’t fit on my (real) selfie, but I shudder to think about what a snapshot would have looked like last year. I am my own measuring stick and I’m seizing my joy.
Thoughts? Do you compare yourself to others which leads to negative thoughts feelings? Do others compare themselves to you?