Blogging is hard. So is Facebook… and all of social media, for that matter.
One simple word: C O M P A R I S O N .
(Eka Pada Koundinyasana II… ie. the money shot)
If you own a computer and have access to the internet, chances are high that you’ve spent some time looking at other people’s stuff. Heck, many of us devote hours to this voyeuristic cause. We surf the web, read blogs, check our Facebook feeds, keep abreast of Tweets, and pour over our favorite Instagram photos. Then there’s YouTube, Pinterest, as well as a seemingly endless number of other places to park yourself for hours.
Now contrary to what you might believe, I’m not here to bash social media. I think it provides entertainment, learning opportunities, a way to connect with others, and escape. All positives, to be sure. The problem, however, arises when we begin to compare ourselves and our own lives to the people we find online. Our ego can’t help but chatter on about things like, “Look at that picture of Sue in Costa Rica! I wish I had money to travel like that. And how does she always manage to look like she just stepped out of a salon – even when trekking through the rain forest? And I saw that triple chocolate cake she ate last night! Why is she so thin without even trying and all I seem to do is gain?…” And on and on. You get the idea.
Here’s the thing: when people post pictures or write little anecdotes about themselves online, 99% of the time they are only showing us the highlight reel. They carefully cull through piles of digital rejects and gloomy moods only to post the things that shine the brightest and feel the happiest. Then we, the viewers, show up and compare the lousy, frustrating, stress-filled day we’ve just had to someone else’s highlight reel. It’s not fair. There’s no way juxtaposing your REAL life against someone else’s shining moment stacks up as a valid comparison. It just doesn’t.
So the next time you’re online, do yourself a favor and keep things in perspective. Check your ego at the door and remember we all have faults. Even if we choose not to allow the cracks in our glossy veneers to show online, those cracks are there, lurking just beneath the megapixels.