Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt insignifcant because you compared yourself to somebody on the internet. Is your hand raised? Because I know that mine is. The internet is an incredible place, filled with amazing opportunities, fantastic people and incredible sites. With all of that comes another side, though. A side that sometimes creeps in at the back of your mind, when you least expect *or want* it to: and part of that is comparison.
Roosevelt once said that comparison is the thief of joy, and that still couldn’t be more true to this day. Especially when you consider that the internet is essentially a highlight reel of everyone’s lives: so of course it’s easy to get sucked in and imagine that whoever you’re comparing yourself to doesn’t actually have any problems of their own.
With the glitz and glamour of the online world wrapped up in likes, retweets, comments and followers – it can be really easy to feel envious of what others are getting. And, unfortunately, with the culture of bots/artificial engagement so frequent today, I feel like all engagement is exaggerated greatly from one account to the next.
If you find yourself falling down the comparison track, today I wanted to share some tips that I’ve used time and time again to get myself out of a comparison funk, and put me back on track so I don’t wallow in myself for too long…
Unfollow the Account
This might be a drastic first step: but it’s the most crucial one. Is this account bringing joy into your life? Do you enjoy following it, or keeping up with what they’re doing? If this account is simply a means of you feeling bad about yourself, unfollow. You shouldn’t be enduring any negativity that you can’t control (or to be honest, any at all if you can help it!), and all time on your phone or relaxing should be as enjoyable as possible.
Going through a social media ‘cleanse’ and deciding which accounts are actually positively contributing to your online experience is important: it’s important that you’re having an enjoyable time online and not simply dodging one notification to the next in hopes that you won’t stumble across something that will make you feel bad.
Take Some Time Offline
When I’m spending too much time online and it’s starting to affect me, sometimes the best solution is to cut back altogether. Everything will still be there when you return – you just need to focus on getting yourself out of that headspace.
Remember that what you’re seeing online is simply a highlight reel of everybody’s lives – nobody shares the not so fun bits, and everybody you see has to deal with their own trials and tribulations in their personal lives.
Taking time out away from your phone/computer is a great way to remember that. There’s an entire world of incredible opportunities and excitement away from the screen, sometimes I think we forget that.
Focus Your Energy on Yourself
Don’t compare your Chapter One to somebody else’s Chapter Twenty. This was a quote that has stuck with me ever since I first heard it. It’s so easy to forget how long some people have been creating content online, and instead seeing nothing but a number. Some people have done it for years and years, or are simply at an entirely different stage with themselves than we are, and that’s okay.
What’s important is to focus on ourselves: how are we doing? Is there anything we can do to be moving forward? Take the time and energy and put it into analysing our social media/blog/presence online to see what the next step we want to take is between now and our goals. Instead of letting these accounts upset you, let them motivate you.
Mountains are there for more than to be awed at, they’re to be climbed. You can get there – in the hardest moments is when it counts the most to keep going.
But for real, comparing yourself online is tough. We all do it, every single one of us. The human experience was built on comparison – every magazine we see is built on the “who did what best” ideology, pitting people against each other constantly. It’s human nature, but with the unique experiences that we craft for ourselves online, it doesn’t have to affect your social media if you don’t want it to.
What are your best tips to avoid comparing yourself online?
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