Our lives are not someone else's. Live your own story.
- Consumption of our minds occurs in every area of our lives. In the past decade, consumption seems to be even stronger with the rise in social media. Social media has great benefits such as engaging with family, catching up with old classmates, or even improving business. Unfortunately, social media can also be used to compare ourselves with others, compete in the “rat race” of life, and far worse. It was not as big of an issue twenty years ago and has only gotten worse. Comparison is slowly killing our minds and society.
We log onto Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other social media app and you have immediately seen the lives of others flashed before us. Friends getting married and having babies, family traveling all over the world, people going to college, and so many other major life happenings. We then reflect on our own lives and begin judging and comparing others’ situations to ours. “Why am I not married yet? How come they get to have so many kids? I wish I could afford to travel as they do. Why am I not more ahead in life?” These are just some of the rampant thoughts that can easily bring us down.
We may have already compared our lives before the invention of these sites, but the internet has only made us more aware of those thoughts. My question to you is, why does it matter? Who said you must be married by 25? Who said you must have a house by 30? Who says you must have a certain number of kids? Who says you must “keep up” with your friends? I used to think I would never own a house before I was married, but here I am. I used to think I would be married by my age, but here I am single and learning so much about myself I never did before. I used to question why so many others around me hit other milestones by my age, but I didn’t.
Believe me, I still have those moments of comparison. I’m no exception to society. The difference now to back then is now I know my life is not my friends’ life. My life is not my family’s life. My life is unlike any other, and that is okay. I shouldn’t be comparing my life to anyone else’s because no two people are the same. We are not meant to be carbon copies of one another, so why do we feed so much on what others portray as their lives? Jealousy could be one reason. Anger could be another. Lack of true identity could also be a reason. Regardless, we need to do better and take a step back.
Stop spiraling into moments of panic about why you don’t feel “ahead” in life. Stop seeing others’ lives as a goal to what yours needs to be. Stop the game of comparison. Start appreciating what you do have in life. Start understanding who you really are and what you want in life. Start realizing there is no exact road map in life of when things are supposed to happen. It’s okay to not be in the same place as your friends. It’s okay to not be married when your parents were. It’s okay to not go to college right after high school, or even at all. It’s your life and only yours; start enjoying it.