Social Media Rabbit Hole

Photo credit: Flickr user Jason A. Samfield

We curate our our own lives on social media, and we can edit it to be any kind of story we like. What ends up happening is that we create a life that seems rosy and full. No problems. The result? We feel we can never live up to what others’ lives seem to be like, especially not what we have curated of our own. We aspire to live the edited life. 

This bothers me because I’m guilty of it. I’m sure you are too. Friends and acquaintances post up the simple everyday joys and achievements they experience, and though there is a part of you that feels happy for them, there’s another, perhaps larger part of you that feels disappointed in yourself.

You ask yourself questions like: Why wasn’t the one to write the next great American novel? Why didn’t I get accepted for that space mission?

There have been a number of articles written about this dangerous comparison competition we get stuck in because of social media exposure. That’s why there’s a wealth of material about the importance of “unplugging” and decompressing from overstimulation. Of distancing yourself from technology and thus the world.

It may be healthy to know what is going on around you, but it’s not healthy if all that knowledge does is make you overly self-critical and shake your confidence. I know this feeling. We all have expectations from our lives, and we want to be the best version of ourselves. And for each of us, that journey is different. Though it may seem really hard at times, it’s important to never ever give up on what you want for yourself.

I’ve written before, or at least hinted at, how I want to live a life I can be proud of. Even though it’s too easy to get caught up in what others are doing versus what you aren’t or what others have versus what you don’t, it’s important to stop yourself before slipping too far down that rabbit hole.

I like to stop myself and remember that this is my life and I can make it into anything. I can change or fix the details I’m not satisfied with.

I like to remind myself of the things I am doing and the things I do have. Those are the details that make up my life, and you know what? Those are the reasons why I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else.

You see, the snippets we see of other people’s lives on our social media feeds are just that — snippets. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others’ snippets. How can you compare your whole to someone’s one piece?

Instead, compare yourself to the person you want to be and figure out how to build bridges to get there. The steps that make up that journey will definitely be more interesting than living vicariously (or jealously) through ever-changing feeds.


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