Here's The Tea: Stop Comparing Your Life To TV And Instagram
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Stop Comparing Your Life To TV And Instagram

Social media is a highlight reel. TV shows are designed to make you feel good about life.

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Stop Comparing Your Life To TV And Instagram
@kourtneykardashian Instagram

Far too often, I see tweets and hear people in their late teens and early to mid-20s feeling depressed, anxious, or "failing" at life too early. Some joke about having a quarter life crisis, compare themselves to successful people their age and think that things aren't as good as they've anticipated.

The main thing contributing to this issue is the heavy use of social media and TV shows. Not to say that Twitter and Netflix are necessarily evil and to be avoided at all costs, but it is harmful to be constantly watching TV shows where characters at this point in life are thriving and living their best lives, when the harsh reality is that this phase of life is generally full of hard work, struggle, and often pain for most people. The TV shows don't show the struggles and hardships it really takes to get to a successful point in life where you're making something of yourself.

Some shows do, like in 'Friends', Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe confront their friends about not having tons of money. Joey never pays his bills, and Rachel is a struggling waitress who is constantly teased about her occupation. But look at her apartment, cute clothes, and funny friends. She is given a job in her dream career with no experience, which is generally unfeasible. I love the show, but like many similar shows, they are unrealistic and give young people a false sense of what their twenties will be like. The show makes this period of challenges seem way too easy, and the common struggles are glamorized or given lots of comedic relief.

Social media: comparison is the thief of joy. You see your friends achieving big goals, having fun, and hitting major milestones, but they're not posting, "I spent 10 hours crying over my homework last night and slept for 2 hours in the last 2 days". They're posting, "I just got an internship", "Can't wait to be a fish camp leader!", "Graduating with a 3.9 GPA!", "New car!", or "Engaged!' or "In a Relationship". Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the point.

We all use our social media accounts to make ourselves look better. Photoshop, filters, and editing are the first things you'd think of, but we also use it to make our accomplishments seem great. No-one is posing their resume on Facebook, but sometimes those Snapchat stories and life updates can awaken the inner green monster in some of us. We can easily feel jealous or compare, and forget to reflect on our own accomplishments and goals.

Staying focused on your own goals while maintaining a perseverant, determined attitude is the key to avoiding this dreaded "failure". When you feel those feelings, you think about, 'what can I do next', 'how can I make the most of this opportunity', and 'where can I go from here', instead of "omg I haven't done x, y, and z, like this person'. Think of what is yet to come, and you'll feel much better about what you've accomplished so far. Spending time working on your resume can also increase your sense of accomplishment.

Before you get down on yourself, realize that what you're seeing in the media is meant to make you feel good, or show off someone else. It is only a reflection of the good, not the bad. Social media is a highlight reel. Everyone must go through some type of struggle to reach success. Behind every loss or failure, is a success to come in the future.

To everyone out there reading this in their early 20s, don't get discouraged because you see someone else that you perceive as 'more successful than you.' Make the best of your opportunities, and everything will come into place in time if you zero in on your goals.

We all worry, we all question ourselves, we all doubt our choices, and we all struggle, but it makes us better equipped for the challenges we will face in the future.

Even if you don't end up on the path you planned or expected, you will always be able to keep moving forward and reaching new goals to give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Enjoy your youth and stay motivated.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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