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Social media was created to help people make connections online. Today, social media sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook, can not only be used to develop relationships, but they can also help expand a business, create opportunities in your career, and open you up to new learning and education.
While social media can be positive, there is another side to it that is not always so beneficial, and that is the side that can get you caught in a trap.
It can be a real rush to scroll through social media and look at all the beautiful, curated pictures. From people showing beautiful landscapes on their vacation, to pictures of their new baby, to snaps of their engagement ring or praying on their million-dollar yachts. The type of luxurious, fun, cute, amazing, and adventurous pictures on social media can be never-ending.
There is nothing wrong with people showcasing their amazing lives, but problems arise when the audience (we, you, I, and others) start to compare our lives to what we view on social media and feel dissatisfied. This is what is called the social media trap. The social media trap is the point at which you watch so much social media that you become unhappy with your own life.
Research shows that too much time on social media can negatively affect your mental health, causing or increasing anxiety and depression. But for so many, social media can feel like an addiction, and you have easy access to it on your phone. So the question then becomes, how do you break the social media habit?
Social media does not need to be the “big bad wolf” of your life. There are ways in which you can experience social media and even leverage the benefits without comparing yourself to others.
Here are a few ways to stop comparing yourself to others on social media:
One of the big issues people have with social media is learning how to schedule a time to be off the application. In 2022 the average daily social media usage is about 2.5 hours; this will vary with each individual. It may be helpful to know how much time you spend on social media and then slowly start to decrease that time.
To make the process easier there are apps you can use that will monitor your daily time on social media and are can be programmed to remind you to get off. Apps such as Offtime, Stay On Task, and App Detox are a few that can help.
I am sure there are a lot of people that have fun, abundant, beautiful lives, and they may post various experiences on social media of those lives. However, it’s important to realize that these highlights are often only one day or experience. Even if they love skydiving, they probably don’t do it every day. The extravagant lifestyles that you may see are not the average person’s real life.
Social media does not capture real life at every minute of the day, and it does not always capture the real life of the average human. A lot of times, people like to post fun experiences but only rarely do they post the hardships or the really sad experiences which are also a part of life. Also, some people stage their pictures. So when you are comparing your life to others’, just know it’s not completely real.
This is pretty self-explanatory: be thankful for your own life. The best habit I have developed is taking the time to write 10 things I’m grateful for every morning. That could be sunlight, my freedom, safety, joy, my car, fresh water, etc. The point is that there is always something to be thankful for even if it’s an emotion. Staying focused on what you do have in your life can help you feel better about your own life.
Be willing to take action on your goals and dreams. Many people compare themselves to celebrities or wealthy people that they see on social media. The issue is that people don’t always see how they started when they didn’t have fame or money. If you see someone doing something that you want to do, then start working toward that goal. Just taking small steps per day toward the goal will help you make massive changes in the long term.
Instead of comparing yourself to the people you envy on social media, start using their success to motivate you. Let their experiences help you understand that if they can make it happen you can as well.
There are many influencers on social media. There are coaches, therapists, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals that are geared toward helping people grow and heal. Some influencers focus on using their platform to motivate and educate people in the personal development space.
Be willing to be very selective about who you follow and social media and leverage the influencers to make you feel excited about life or inspire you to start a healing journey.
Comparing yourself to people on social media will only lead you to depression and anxiety. Instead, use social media to connect, get motivated, and allow yourself to grow. Be willing to take a break from social media for a few hours or a few days, and realize the greatness that is in your own life. Not only will you feel happier, but you will also gain better ideas for your own goals in your life.
Want to learn how to feel better about your life and thriving? Start here:
Don’t let more time pass by, reclaim your life today!
Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love