But first, let me take a selfie.
Social Comparison Theory states that we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against others. As a result, we are constantly making self and other evaluations across a variety of domains (for example wealth, attractiveness, intelligence, etc.).
We live in an age where it is as if we didn’t do something or see someone unless it is posted on social media. Long lost are the days where we would live our lives blissfully ignorant to the mass’ opinions and expectations. Every morning, when I wake up, the first thing I do is check my Facebook account to see what everyone did the night before. It is a trap. According to Social Comparison Theory, I am unconsciously, or even consciously, comparing my night to everyone else’s. Then I check my Instagram account to see who liked my most recent picture. Sound familiar?
One of the best experiences of my life didn’t involve social media. While studying abroad in Europe for a semester, my iPhone rarely worked. Only when I could find some free wifi in a coffee shop or airport could I post a picture or two. This experience gave me the opportunity to look out the window of a bus in Ireland, people watch on the London Underground and sit under the Eiffel Tower with no distractions. I was free.
It is a tough balance to keep. Social media is a part of our everyday lives, but it can’t consume our lives. It’s easy for what you see online to alter your perspective.
“She got new job already?”
“Boy, do they go to Vegas a lot- I want to go!”
“They are getting married? I wonder when I will get married.”
“How can he afford to go to that concert?”
“I’ve never gotten that many likes on a picture.”
Just stop. Breathe. Understand the social media rat race is unnecessary.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media- heck, I am the social media intern for Accountable in Action! However, there is a time to open the apps and there is a time to shut it all down. Don’t let social media get in the way of the life you want to live and don’t worry about what everyone else is posting because
1. It might not be exactly how it appears
2. You are awesome