Compare and Despair

With social media, it is easy to get lost in a spiral of passively watching other people’s lives unfold instead of directly communicating with them.  This often leads us to compare ourselves to others and feel despair as a result.  You may notice who’s getting married, who’s having a baby, getting a promotion, going on a fabulous trip, having a party (that you weren’t invited to), or many other countless events that bring up painful realities in your own life. The result: you feel less than those around you.

Such comparisons can be misleading because social media only displays a snapshot of someone’s life; the best part, the part that they want everyone else to see. Events in people’s lives are influenced by so many factors that it is difficult to compare or judge who is doing things right and if people even have what you want.

Facebook and other social media sites are intended to connect people, to bring them together, but in reality social media can create emotional disconnect in relationships. When we put other people on a pedestal we are distancing ourselves from them – they become bigger than life and we can feel intimidated, maybe even turned off by their seeming prowess in the world.

In essence, people may have life experiences similar to yours, but if you assume they are better than or worse than you, it will be difficult to connect with them. Comparison can lead to competition and jealousy, which keeps people apart. You never know what you will find out about someone if you ask the deeper questions and connect rather than deduce based on observation alone.

Just something to keep in mind on your social media trails…