“Comparison is the thief of joy” -Theodore Roosevelt

Social media is an amazing feat: with just a click of a button you can communicate with people across the state, country or world. Social media is a great platform for maintaining friendships, long distance relationships, and can also be used as a creative outlet. YouTube allows superstars to be discovered (*ahem* Justin Bieber). Instagram allows photography to be exhibited, and sometimes allows models to be recognized (I’m looking at you Brock O’Hurn). Facebook allows your racist uncle to post racist status updates.

But, another thing social media provides is an opportunity to compare ourselves to each other. Because technology is attached to our hips, we live vicariously through our social media accounts. We post pictures, statuses and updates about everything we do. Because of this, we are forced to deal with the reality that social media can do just as much harm as good.

Let’s talk about Instagram models. For example: Amrezy. I’m not throwing shade, she’s an incredible makeup artist and I’m sure she worked hard to get where she is today, however, it’s easy to forget that she’s paid to post what she does. She gets paid to promote FitTea and makeup products, and gets invited on lavish trips by big companies. That’s her life, but it isn’t the “normal” life.

Instagram provides a platform for negativity as well. If you go to a celebrity profile, click on any random post, you’re bound to find at least a handful of negative comments. Although they may not be being posted on your post, negativity breeds negativity. The negativity doesn’t stop at Instagram; you can find it in the YouTube comments, Facebook statuses, Tumblr posts, etc. Negativity is amplified on social media because social media allows commenters to reach more users.

If we go through life expecting our lives to be “picture perfect”, we’re going to be disappointed. If you look through social media, you’re probably only going to see the good moments because we want to put our best selves forward. However, we all know no one’s live is perfect, not even Amrezy’s life. Life is messy and it’s not always photogenic, but although it’s not perfect, it’s still pretty good.

I’m not saying social media is bad, but I am saying it does have its flaws. Social media can leave its users feeling ugly or inadequate or anything in between. Take social media as a grain of salt. Social media is for entertainment, not competition.