My greatest source of unhappiness is my need to compare myself to others. It’s like an addiction. I know better, and I know it will never bring happiness just like my mother knew smoking was bad for her.I’ve spent my whole life trying to break the habit, but I fall back to every time. Social media is like giving the keys to the liquor cabinet to a recovering alcoholic.
Sometimes I think about getting rid of social media all together and trying to learn just to live on my own. However, then how would I connect to most of my friends in and here. I’d be isolated, yet free from the curse of comparison.
Why, oh why, do I do this?
What’s worse is that a good chunk of people I know — the narcissistic ones — are doing the same thing and desperately trying to make their lives seem more wonderful than they are. It’s like certain people use social media as a new “outcompete the neighbors”. We got to see who’s happier, more successful, and who’s got the more loving partner and the better circle of friends.
I used to find myself wanting to join in the rat race, but these days I actually post more personal stuff here than on places where people know me. I feel like if people know you in real life you can’t be yourself in your online life. After all, you have to impress people.
When you are anonymous, it’s less about impressing and more about connecting and empathizing with others. The readers of my blog actually know more about what’s going on in my life than anyone who reads my personal social media.
That’s all because when I post in those places I feel that former acquaintances there are looking for even the slightest bit of unhappiness to assure themselves they have the superior story going on. I tire of this rat race. I tired of feeling compared and pushed to compare myself.
I like improving myself for me, not because I’m afraid of being regarded as less important.
It’s like elementary school all over when people had to prove their “worth” so that they would have friends. If you didn’t have enough social influence, you were dismissed as not important enough to be seen with. I didn’t think I’d ever get away from the people who think that way, but I started to in college.
Then when I joined the JET program and went to Japan, I discovered a large chunk of the coworkers thought exactly how the kids in elementary school thought. It was all about climbing the social ladder and comparing yourself to others and where they stood on it.
Many of those same people still think this way. They fret over how many “happy birthdays” they get on facebook and how many likes per post. If they don’t get enough they sink into a social media depression and feel they’re losing popularity.
Is there anyway to escape comparing yourself while using social media? It’s seems built to drive comparing ourselves to others.