In today’s society, it has become very easy to stay updated on the lives of others. This is particularly true in the world of social media. With a simple click, we are instantly connected, bringing both positive and negative implications. Social media platforms serve as effective tools for raising awareness about social issues, current events, building businesses and growing brands just to name a few. As well as giving people the opportunity to connect. However, this instant access to the lives of those we know and complete strangers can be a source of distraction and contribute to feelings of inadequacy.
On social media platforms, individuals often portray themselves in the best light possible. They share photos capturing their best moments of their vacations or recent achievements. They share photos of the bouquet of flowers their boyfriend delivered, or pose in a new outfit before heading out for the evening. There is nothing wrong with wanting to share good news or exciting moments, however, some individuals may fabricate their experiences, presenting a facade to the online world because they are looking for validation from others. To those watching and scrolling, viewing the glamorous lives portrayed on screens, can make it tempting to compare what they see to their own lives.
According to an article on The Jed Foundation callled Understanding Social Comparison on Social Media “Negative social comparison or the fear of missing out (FOMO), which is the idea that someone else is having a better time or is more successful than you (only from what you can see of their online lives), can impact our mental health in a variety of ways.” The article goes on to list them as, increased depression, decreased overall well-being, poor body image, and eating disorders.
Social media can create illusions, presenting an image of perfection that doesn’t exist. Social media can be great for staying connected, but when used excessively it can impact one’s self-perception in a negative way. That’s why it’s important to take occasional breaks from it and focus on personal growth. It allows more time to redirect your focus on your own life and the plans God has for you. God does not operate by anyone’s watch or clock and HIS timing is not bound by human schedules. Each individual’s path is unique and comparing oneself to others only hinders personal progress and creates unnecessary distractions. Do your best to avoid falling into the trap of constant comparison. Your path is not going to be the same as the person next to you and theirs is not the same as yours. Allowing yourself to stay in a state of comparison will keep you behind and distracted.
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