As a follow up from my last article about the dangers of comparison, I felt called to talk about how these sentiments can be directly tied to today’s use of social media. In today’s day and age where people are constantly uploading the best pictures of their lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, it is easy to be convinced that people are, in fact, living perfect lives. It takes a toll on your self-confidence when you find yourself looking at all of the fun, perfectly lighted party pictures that show all of someone’s best angles, and think to yourself, “what are they doing that I am not?”
Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize that social media is not reality. Being our real selves (the versions of us chilling in sweatpants, wearing no makeup and binge watching Netflix) would not get us the most likes on social media. As bad as it sounds, we post what makes us look the most desirable and what will gain us the most followers.
I am definitely not an exception to this; in fact, I need to tone down the exhausting amounts of efforts to appear like my life is perfect too. I think in each generation there is always a bane that people have to deal with, and I believe that our generation’s is how social media affects our behavior when we are not engrained in these platforms. It affects our face-to-face conversations, and the real relationships we have with people that don’t involve likes and retweets. It’s hard not to wonder if people think the real you lives up to the Internet you, and this constant doubt brings insecurity to relationships.
I realize it’s probably annoying to read yet another article about why social media is so bad and why our generation needs to put our phones down, because there are in fact a lot of benefits to social media and the efficiency these technological advancements bring to our everyday lives.
In the case of social media, though, I personally believe that the cons far outweigh the benefits. All comparison does is inhibit you from accomplishing your own goals and damages your sense of self. Of all things to remember, though, the most important is that when you are comparing yourself to someone else on social media, which you will inevitably do, you must remember that what you are comparing yourself to is inaccurate; it’s the stretched truth. Try to think of “social media you” as your highlight reel, and the rest as the “behind-the-scenes you.” After all, the most meaningful relationships you will have in your lifetime are with the people that choose to accept the “behind-the-scenes you," imperfections and all.