They say jealousy hurts, and comparison kills.
Lately I've been thinking about how social media and blogging have drastically changed the way we live our lives. We have talked about social media burnout on SL before, and encouraged each other to put the phone down, disconnect, spend time outdoors, reconnect with real life, etc etc etc. What we haven't touched on, is how comparison-driven social media, particularly Instagram, is, and how comparison truly is the thief of joy.
These days, you don't need to drive through the fancy neighborhood, sit next to the impossibly fresh, natural blonde next to you on the airplane, or walk into an empty Burberry store and get dirty looks from the salespeople to wonder if you fit in enough in this world.
No. All you have to do is look at your phone.
Your phone that sleeps next to you, that lives in your house, that interrupts your dinner, that you look at on impulse anytime your friend leaves to use the bathroom. Our phone that has become a 5th limb and the modern-day High School mean girl.
Social media is a black hole of comparison and consumerism. We've all heard the expression "mindless scrolling". You know it well: You are laying in bed, click on Instagram with the intention of spending only a few minutes on the app, but begin to scroll, scroll, scroll, like, like, like, scroll, scroll, scroll... 30 minutes later you have a headache from holding your phone thisclose to your face, and feel bad about your house, your kitchen, your bad lighting, your ugly photos, your stupid older model iPhone, your uncool job, and end the night feeling completely inadequate and ungrateful.
We get down on ourselves when we compare our real life to the highlight reel of someone else's. Like anyone else, while I may look like I don't have problems, I do. And they are not displayed in my little squares. You may see one glamorous second of my day, but you didn't see the tough conversation I had with my husband earlier. You didn't see the hurt I felt from a falling out with my best friend, the frustration when my story got scratched, the panic I lived when my dog was in the hospital, and the stories told around the fire about the friend we once lost.
You only saw a pretty kitchen.
We only see the pretty and the shiny, and we want to be part of it. So we, then, also start posting only pretty and shiny. Then we get comments on how pretty and shiny that is, and we feel good about ourselves. Only to see the prettier and shinier thing next to us, and feel like we're not as pretty and shiny. Now you have to make more money and spend more money so you can win at social media.
Think of all the pretty and shiny things I can post! Everyone will die!!
I am exhausted of the sameness, of the fakeness, and of the perpetual need for everyone to become more visible, get more attention, get more sponsors, make more money, and ultimately become more sucked into a world entirely driven by image.