Social media and comparison: a dangerous and inevitable occurrence

Not too long ago, I had a rather intense conversation with someone who is quite near and dear to my heart. Out of respect for the person I will refrain from naming them or providing any details that may hint toward their identity, but I will say that this individual is incredibly strong, independent and successful. These characteristics are relevant to the topic of the discussion we found ourselves engaged with.

This person approached me close to the end of their wits and told me they considered themselves a failure. When I asked them what in the fuck gave them this impression, they responded that they have been comparing themself to others via social media in the context of where they are currently on their life path, and they had convinced themselves that because their life was not reflective of their lives they follow and see on social media, they were inferior and unsuccessful.

I advised this person to take an extended break from social media, and to be honest, I’ve been contemplating doing the same as of late because I, too, find myself unrealistically comparing my own situation to the situations of others I see when scrolling through social media platforms. Even though I acknowledge that what is shown on social media is often the highlights, or best elements, of someone’s life, or possibly isn’t even a realistic portrayal of their life at all, I still find myself unintentionally measuring my own worth by comparing my life to the lives of people I follow on social media. This comparison is inevitable, in my own opinion, but it’s dangerous, repercussive, and self-destructive.

No one is perfect, despite what their social feeds may suggest, and I think a lot of us would benefit from keeping this in mind while using social media, or, even abstaining from using it for a while. I may end up doing the latter.

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