Social media has become our entire lives and everything we do is more public than ever. When we log onto our favorite social platforms, the photos/videos of your peers best moments are showcased front and center. It can be so easy to become absorbed in their lives and make yourself believe that they are successful, perfect, and overall happier than you.
Now don’t get me wrong, I use social media everyday so I would never advocate for the complete detox of the apps from your life. Instead, I have found a few methods that I use to combat feelings of frustration for my own life when I see these perfect little worlds on a screen.
1. Unfollow/Block are your best friends
I have come to realize that just because I interact with certain people in person on a daily basis, it does not mean I must become a loyal follower of theirs on the internet. You may be in a class or work with someone who really gets under your skin, yet you are still friends on Facebook. This is toxic. You are under no obligation to this person and if every time they post something you start feeling negative, delete them. So many times I hear people talk poorly about someone who recently posted something just because they do not like them. It could be a photo of their dog and we have a tendency to find something about this photo to turn it negative like, “They post way too many photos of their pets, they have no life” (lol me). So for your own mental health just unfollow. It won’t hurt you and if you find yourself wanting to check up on them to see what they are up to then maybe take a look at yourself and ask “why?”
2. Snapchat can be incredibly negative
I am really not a fan of this social media outlet because it serves nothing more than to show others, “look what I am doing right now while you are home on your couch watching Game of Thrones.” Unlike other social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat shows EVERYTHING. You save the best content for your Instagram since it is all about aesthetic. You would not go to lunch with a friend and post five different photos of how much fun you are having, yet this is the purpose Snapchat serves. It can be difficult when it comes to a point where you see your “friends” all together and you were not included. It leaves you with a feeling of discouragement and they may not have meant to leave you out and there was no malicious intent, yet you still feel down. With this one I try to really limit who I am friends with on Snapchat so these feelings never surface for me and I am overall much happier.
3. People are at different points in their lives.
This is the big one. Now that I have graduated college ALL I see on Facebook are engagement, baby, and job announcements. This can become very discouraging when you might be struggling with these areas in one way or another. The important thing to remember is that just because you see these successes highlighted in their lives you have no idea what it took to get there. Is this person truly happy? Yes they might be getting married but you have a wonderful relationship and there is no pressure to go to this next step quite yet. Or you are perfectly happy being single and enjoying this freedom in your life but these announcements make you jealous all the same. Babies are the same way. I am very excited to be a mother someday so when I see these pregnancy announcements I ooh and ahh and wish it was me. Then I slap myself back to reality and think, “Why the hell would I want a baby to live in my one bedroom apartment with my partner and I?”
This last one really irks me. People (and their parents) love to boast about their new job offer they just accepted and how their life is going so great. I am not a believer of sharing these milestones on Facebook because the important people in my life are going to already know about my job offer and I am happy with that. I don’t need that girl I sat next to in Biology my sophomore year of high school to congratulate me. Just because someone has a new job does not always mean it is time to self doubt and wonder why your dream job has not dropped into your lap. I had a difficult few months after college where the job search was draining every bit of happiness I had. It was not helping when I would see others social media pages. Yet here I am. Very happy with an online job and working on my artistic projects on the side. I stopped putting pressure on myself to be perfect and things fell into place.
I have no idea what the next year is going to be for me but I am open and willing to accept all of the ups and downs. So please take this as the sign that you needed to unfriend your ex or delete Snapchat so you can continue striving to become your best self. Also, keep posting photos that make you feel good about yourself. Just because social media can be stressful it does not mean that you cannot post that gorgeous selfie on Instagram. Do it! All I want you to take away from this is that you should be posting for yourself and not to impress anyone else.