Ever looked at social media and felt like you’re losing at life while everyone else is winning? Well, it’s time to step back and uncover the truth.
If you’ve used social media, chances are you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of inadequacy while browsing through your feed, seeing people travelling, partying, and enjoying life. But guess what? That’s not always the case. What you see online is only a tiny fraction of the reality.
Take my vlogs and social media presence as an example; they might give the impression that I’m always living a life full of excitement, but like everyone else, I have struggles, disappointments, and fears too. I just haven’t shared much of the latter.
In this blog, I want to paint the full picture and share some thoughts and feelings that have been on my mind, especially after my solo India trip. The goal here is to remind us all (including myself) that those seemingly perfect lives on social media aren’t real.
The Truth About Social Media
Social media can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it helps us stay connected with friends and family; on the other hand, it’s easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of comparison.
Here are two crucial points to remember:
1) What you see online is not the full picture
Social media often shows us just a tiny, edited, and often distorted part of someone’s life. What we see are the highlights – the fun moments, exciting adventures, and grand achievements. What we usually don’t see are the struggles, heartbreaks, and sacrifices that people go through to reach those high points.
For instance, during my solo India trip, I shared photos and videos of beautiful landscapes and smiling faces. But behind the scenes, I also faced fear, uncertainty, financial anxiety, food poisoning, and more.
Why don’t we see more posts related to struggles, failures, or defeats? I believe it’s due to fear, insecurities, or judgement from other people. Also, that sort of post is usually not shared by others, and thus rarely goes viral.
When we compare our lives to the highlight reels of others, it can leave us feeling inadequate or wondering what’s wrong with us.
Comparing yourself to others is a losing game.
No two lives are exactly alike.
But here’s the thing: everyone has challenges to face and obstacles to overcome. We’re all human beings with our unique set of flaws and strengths.
Your friends might seem like they’re doing better than you, but you don’t know their complete story. They might be dealing with health issues, relationship problems, or job-related stress.
So instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your goals and dreams.
When you do spend time online, make sure to be authentic. Genuinely celebrate the accomplishments of others. Stand by and offer support during their tough times. Learn from others, and don’t hesitate to share your knowledge. Toss envy and pessimism into the trash where they belong.
2) Social media is not FREE
Isn’t it fascinating that we have access to sites like Facebook for “free”?
Companies like Facebook offer some of the highest salaries to hire top-notch engineers and professionals that work behind the scenes. Why are we allowed to use their platforms without spending a dime?
Here’s the catch: if you’re using something for free, you’re probably the product.
And when it comes to social media, that’s precisely the case.
Our attention and data are the real products being sold to advertisers who pay top dollar to show us ads tailored to our interests. Additionally, these platforms are designed with dopamine feedback loops ie. they are addictive, which keeps you online longer and checking in more frequently.
Whether you already know this or not, it’s essential to remind ourselves of this fact. By being aware of the underlying mechanisms of social media, we can make more informed decisions about how much time and energy we invest in these platforms.
After all, our attention is one of our most valuable resources. Let’s use it wisely!
What to Do About It? – Build good habits
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Laozi, Tao Te Ching
If you’re feeling down, overwhelmed or disappointed with your life, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can DO something about it.
Here are some practices that have helped me stay on track:
- Go on a dopamine detox: Take a break from social media for at least one week to recalibrate your brain. Limit screen time, and focus on being present and what’s truly important in your life.
- Exercise regularly: It’s incredible what physical activity can do for mental health. Regular exercise can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve overall health + well-being. Start at home or hit the gym.
- Practice Journaling: Write down your thoughts, feelings, gratitudes, goals, and daily accomplishments to help gain clarity and track your progress. Noting down your thoughts greatly reduces impulsive overthinking. Noting down what you’re grateful for greatly reduces negative thoughts. Journaling has been a game-changer for me!
- Try meditation: Meditation and other mindfulness techniques can help you stay present and grounded. Gratitude and Visualization meditations are particularly helpful. The Insight Timer app is a great place to start.
- Take action towards your goals every day: Set goals and take action every day to move towards them, even if it’s just a small step. Prioritize, and pick the most important 1 or 2 goals. Break them down into smaller more manageable actions. Set tight deadlines to force yourself to act.
Remember, these are habits that will take time to cultivate. Focus on 1 at a time and be kind to yourself.
Every time you fail…
“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others and start living your life on your own terms.
Beware of the dangers of social media. The life we see online is rarely the full story. Everyone has their own unique challenges and victories. Focus on cultivating gratitude, setting goals, and building healthy habits that will bring you closer to the life you want to live.
With perseverance, you’ll soon be surprised by how far you’ve climbed.
Thank you for reading. I hope it’s been helpful.
Let’s work together towards living happier and more fulfilled lives!
PS: This is YOUR Life. LIVE!