It is such a blessing to get an update very often on the lives of our friends and loved ones. Some of us are still connected to our elementary and high school friends after so many years. It is so amazing that we do not have to let go of friends completely when we move to the next stage in life where we cannot physically engage anymore. It has brought humanity closer together especially with people that could never have physical access to, such as celebrities or business gurus that we look up to. Social media is so broad that every social media platform serves a unique purpose even though they all similarly increase human connectivity.
However, the dangers are still present. Social media has allowed us to be 'too' connected such that we are involved in almost every aspect of people's lives or at least, what they decide to show us. Familiarity breeds a false sense of friendship where we feel awfully close to people we actually do not know that well and what they say on their platform can carry more weight than it should.
Social media is amazing in allowing different people who have similar interests to follow and learn from each other. I have personally learned so much from the people I followed; actually that is the main reason I follow them. However, our feelings act out so quickly before our brains can interpret them. Occasionally, we start feeling down and somewhat upset when we scroll through social media and we do not understand why. Social media allows us to know what is happening in people's lives, the successes more than the failures if we are honest and we cannot help ourselves but compare our assets to theirs.
This is a trend I have noticed so much on LinkedIn for example. This is a professional social media that connect professionals from different fields and where they share their accomplishments and also recent developments in their area of specialty. This can be positive but I notice that I compare other's accomplishments as engineers to my own unconsciously.
Social media has been the source of a lot of people's sadness because they feel that they do not measure up to the standard that is portrayed on social media. A set standard is usually placed for every category like beauty, body type, profession, age-related feats, wealth, and so on. A more obvious example would be body image and the acceptable way someone's body should look without regarding the lack of realism. It is a standard that cannot be obtained generally except by a few people while the rest of us have to "fake it till we make it". These types of body images get the most likes and they get more positive comments. This, therefore, affirms the false standard of beauty that is not realistic or true. Because people are comparing their assets to others, they will be sad because they feel that they do not meet the standard that has been set. In their mind, they may know that the standard is not realistic but the way the person feels does not change because of it.
Sometimes, our growth and personal achievements are slow and not as forthcoming and so when we see people celebrate milestones, we feel very guilty or irresponsible for not working as hard as them to achieve our own goals. It seems more like a competition of who gets to the finished line first instead of realizing that the race everyone runs is a different one, with different distances and time allotted. Yet, when we take our eyes off of our course and try to run fast and catch up in speed with other runners, we get burnt out because the endurance needed for our personal race is very high and the distance is different than our 'supposed' opponent. We find ourselves feeling discouraged and incapable of achieving a goal but not realizing that we are setting ourselves backward because of comparison.
I usually find myself in this position more often than I should and I notice that I am not so happy about my situation and my slow progress. I blame myself for not achieving and making moves. It is upsetting but you should not be too hard on yourself. Sometimes life happens and you are not where you thought you would be at this stage or age or season, but do not give up or feel bad for any reason. Your time will come and it will be outstanding.
Getting to this place in your mind can be very difficult so you need to assess the situation and ask yourself why you feel the way you feel. You need to TELL yourself the 'fact' of the situation and not just rely on your feelings. You know the truth, do not rely on lies. If you are feeling guilty because your current situation is your fault, then take that feeling and turn it into a drive to attain your purpose. Set a goal, small ones at a time, and achieve it.
You have to climb the steps to reach the top.
The mind is very precious and once it is not working optimally we need to make some changes around us to get ourselves to a healthier headspace. It is time to go on a social media fast and get your mind right. Take a few days or a week off because you need it to reset and pull away from the noises that are confusing you or lying to you.