In this world based on duality and comparisons, it’s hard to simply say, “don’t compare yourself to others.” We all do it – right – check out what others are doing on facebook and instagram, look at the photos of their life in envy. Either that or we look at their photos and judge their happenings or life as lesser than. We are either deeming our lives as better or worse than others – constantly. These judgements are all based on the ego or the ‘false self’ and will never lead to happiness.
A study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross suggests that using facebook makes us feel more sad and lonely. Moreover, a group of researchers found that envy increases with Facebook use: The more time an individual spent browsing facebook, the more envious they felt. This is thought to be because of social comparison. Sadly, learning about others achievements took most into an even darker space. Many reported having a love-hate relationship with the site, saying that they want to know what others are up to as well as share their happenings too. Yet, in the process they felt envy, jealousy and an obligation to uphold their own image.
We all know that not everything in a photo, or even a video for that matter, is as it seems. Furthermore, people are not posting pictures of their down time doing the couch potato thing or checking their phone. Things may look or appear better or worse than they actually are.
But that’s still not the point. The point is we need a new mindframe when it comes to social media. I believe a simple shift in consciousness can affect the way we experience social media and have it work to our benefit.
A new perspective:
- The most successful people in life use other peoples successes as motivation. They are not “haters,” and actually like seeing others do well.
- If there is something you like about a post or photo (i.e. the location and setting or even something material that catches your eye) use it as an incentive and catalyst to do what you gotta do to make it happen for you.
- Applaud others successes and “like” and share them.
- Be forthright and tell your friend that you are inspired by them. The more open and giving you are with words of kindness, the more loving kindness you will get in return.
- Life is not about sharing every picturesque moment for instagram to see. It’s about truly being in the present moment and experiencing life and the gift that it truly is.
- Happiness comes from being where you are and enjoying the gift of being fully there (not wishing you were doing what someone else is doing.
- Realize that most people are not posting their insecurities, fears, sadness or feelings of boredom – they’re posting their best. So give yourself a break – this is not a competition!
- Judging others is bad for your health. If you notice a judgement about another, just let it go and wish them the best and most bountiful life (from the heart).
- Appreciate exactly where you are, yet allow the space for things to get greater later or even more “wow” right now. Even the basic act of stopping to take a deep breath and giving thanks for all you have and all the goodness that is in store for the future can be a life changing event – if you let it.