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Comparing yourself to what's on social media

Are you trying to compare yourself to the highlight reels on social media?

Written by Denise Harding and posted in voices

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There are the Kardashians living out another dramatic and lavish escapade on my TV, there goes another high profile blogger living her best holiday life through Instagram, there’s another curated selfie with studio lighting, perfected editing skills and maybe a lip filler or two. It’s easy to see why there is an epidemic of comparison among my generation.

The act of comparison is a slippery slope, and one that even I have fallen down in the past. Not in a “I wish I had that life” kind of way but probably a, “I have that jacket, did it look as good on me?” kind of way. Luckily I am usually able to catch myself in that moment and ask why am I even bothered?

Why is it up to social and mainstream media to set a certain level of ‘perfection’ we should fall under? Well guess what? It’s not.

When you think about it, social media is a weird and wonderful thing. I enjoy my time online and I have found a balance that works for me, but social media is just a virtual place to hang out and shouldn’t affect your daily life because the majority of what we see is fabricated, it’s a constant highlight reel and you never know what one’s reality entails behind their glossy Instagram.

Whatever goes on in your social media circle, doesn’t reflect who you are as a person. Sure, you can capture your wit in a tweet, post that selfie that makes you feel confident but what happens when you don’t get the amount of ‘likes’ you hoped for? What happens when your friends get more of a reaction than you? Does it make you feel as if you’re not good enough? If you answered yes to those questions then it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your way of thinking.

If the metaphorical cloud were to disperse, the pixels ceased to create a bigger picture and the wi-fi permanently switched off, we would be none the wiser. Imagery we see online is often doctored to a look a certain way, angles and lighting are carefully thought out, post edit means you can do everything from a brighten a picture up, making a face or body appear slimmer, to adding a rainbow in the sky. Some well known personalities will continue to tell us that buying everything from a lipstick to a car will make our lives better, even if they don’t believe in those products themselves. Basically, we’ve become restrained to information (sometimes false, sometimes true) and a few pictures when there truly is no need.

We are told that comparison is the thief of joy, and for good reason.

In an age where the world is set on selling you a product or image you need to have or be, the bravest thing you can do is be yourself. Enjoy your social media use for the entertainment it was meant to be but carve your own path with individuality and pride.

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Published May 9th2018
Tags social media wellbeing opinion
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