I’m in my 30's and I avoid social media as much as possible. You see, like many people, I have a major problem comparing myself to others. Most of my life I’ve felt that I was behind my peers….academically, socially, financially, etc. I also have depression and anxiety, which is greatly affected by social media.
When I see photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter of people smiling, having a great time doing things and traveling, and looking happy, I wonder why that isn’t me. What am I doing wrong? Why don’t I have friends like that? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just let go and have fun? How do I find that type of happiness? Why is their life fuller/happier/better than mine? I know the answers to all of these questions (nothing, you do, nothing, fear, you know how, it’s not), but it doesn’t stop the depression from taking over and bringing me down.
When I feel that way, I have to stop and remind myself of some things: 1) I am not them and they are not me. Everyone has different experiences in life that has led them to where they are now. I can’t compare my life to someone else’s 2) Everyone has their own internal struggles 3) Photos can sometimes be masks for pain and insecurity. A smiling face in a picture doesn’t necessarily mean the person is actually happy. Things aren’t always as they appear.
I also remind myself of the difficult times I’ve had in my life. The only fair comparison is to oneself….where I am now compared to where I was in my past. I won’t list all the things I’ve gone through here, but suffice it to say it was a lot. I may not have the happy fun life I want, yet, but I’m pretty damn fucking proud of where I am. And I won’t allow any photo to diminish that.
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