I like to think that I have a pretty healthy relationship with social media. At least I thought I did, until I witnessed a friend of mine creep a very pretty girl’s Instagram account who wore very little clothing and who had her tongue down her boyfriend’s throat or legs wrapped around his waist in beautiful and exotic locations in 97% of her photos. I was not only perplexed with her level of interest in the account and with how many followers she had, but also at the amount of people that commented on her photos with comments such as "I want your life" and “#relationshipgoals! <3” I was curious, who would spend their time gawking over a stranger’s love life for several minutes (maybe even hours) wishing for a relationship that outside of a few graphic images, they knew nothing about? Surely, the majority of the human race must have better things to do with their time? I took a quick gander at her account to try to understand the obsession, and, much to my embarrassment, was even more engrossed in the images and equally as ashamed with the the lengthy amount of time spent scanning her photos that sadly, I would never get back again.
Sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself fully engrossed in a stranger’s Instagram account, obsessing over how perfect their relationship, body, style, travel experience or life appears to be? If so, don’t be so hard on yourself. Most of us fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others on every type of social media outlet available (hence, why depression in teens is at an all time high). But before you condemn yourself or blame your parents, your teachers, the Universe, your partner, genetics or anyone else for that matter from holding you back from being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or talented enough to match the lifestyle of the strangers you worship on social media, remember that EVERYONE experiences these feelings. Better yet, there are a few ways (which I use myself and have shared below) to help you get out of the jealousy-mode you might find yourself stuck in late at night when your creep-game is at an all time high.
1. First things first: Keep in mind that what you are witnessing when you scan your Instagram “idol” is merely just a highlight reel. This is likely not their everyday life. What do you share on social media? Likely your big wins, major accomplishments, cool activities and nights out when you are looking particularly fantastic. Do you share images of yourself when you have the flu and are glued to your toilet with greasy hair because you haven’t showered in a few days? Do you post videos of you fighting with your partner or moments of weakness when you finish off an entire pizza or jar of peanut butter? How about when you just had a cavity filled and the right side of your face is drooping and you don’t even notice the drool seeping onto your shirt? Just like you, these stranger’s that you envy have highs and lows and you can be certain they aren’t sharing the shitty stuff.
2. Use social media to be inspired instead of a platform that feeds your insecurities and self-loathing tendencies. The majority of the people I follow are those that I look up to or make my life better in some way (even if only through photos). They have quotes, beautiful imagery, a positive message or photos that make me laugh. If they don’t, I will delete, unfollow, unlike or whatever term you use, to remove someone from my circle of energy. If you constantly find yourself in a state of comparison when you are scanning a particular someone’s social channels, get rid of them. You have a very precious amount of personal power to use in a day and if you waste it and your energy on something that doesn’t uplift or inspire you, then you’re taking away energy from other things in your day that matter.
3. Dispose of any notions that the more that other people have in the world, the less there is, for you. Trust me when I say this: There is more than enough love, happiness and success to go around.
4. Try creating a social media schedule. Sounds silly but it totally works. If you are someone who just opens your social media outlets on autopilot for a "quick" scan before soon realizing you've wasted nearly 45 minutes of your day looking at #dogsofinstagram or any type of celebrity that doesn't instill much intellectual stimulation, then create a social media schedule for yourself. Give yourself 10 minute increments a few times a day (perhaps during breakfast, a coffee break, or on the walk home). Quick tip: I recommend that you stay away from social media first thing in the mornings and right before you go to bed. This prevents you from starting your day or trying to fall asleep in a potentially negative mindset.
5. Mix in a little gratitude - You have a lot of incredible things to celebrate in your life, so much more so than millions of other people in the world. You want to talk about comparing yourself to others, think about all of the people in the world that don’t have the opportunities or privelages that you do, that don’t have a cell phone, computer or internet connection that enables you to read this post in the first place. The people that don’t have the ability to see or didn't receive an education that allow them to read. A little exercise I like to do is jotting down a few things I am grateful for every single day, or even listing them off in my head. If you are feeling particularly bummed out after creeping any social media outlet, immediately transition yourself into a place of gratitude and jot down some things that you’re grateful for.
6. Act on it! What exactly do they have, that you want? A toned bod? A romantic-looking relationship? Impeccable style? Beautiful and exotic surroundings? Make a list of what you admire about the people you are drawn to. (Be as specific as possible.) The majority of the time, it is something you can absolutely create for yourself with a bit of action and persistence. This is where the power of goal setting comes in, (which I'll save for a later blog post) but in the meantime, get very, very clear on what it is you want out of life. You might come to the life-altering realizing that you can have it too. Quick tip: Set aside time each day (that you otherwise would be spending creeping stranger’s social media accounts) and use it to start working towards this amazing new life that you want for yourself.
7. Start sending out positive vibes into the world. For any of you that know me on a personal level (or my mom for that matter) knows that at an early age, she taught me the importance and magic of sending people “positive light and energy” or “PLE” as one of my friends recently coined the term. If you are in the depths of despair, depressed, or in a particular state of self-loathing due to how incredible someone else’s life appears to be compared to yours, send them some positive vibes. Give them a compliment. Turn your judgement and criticism into admiration. Be genuinely happy for everything they’ve accomplished in their life. Tell them you think so. You will feel so much better as a result when you come from a place of celebrating someone else's accomplishments instead of inwardly trashing them.
Did you like this post? Do you think someone else could benefit from these tips? If so, please share! I would love to hear from you in the comments box below.
Also, if you want to explore coaching with me 1:1, check out my services page to see how we can work together to begin actualizing all of your big and beautiful goals!