Saturday 5 September 2020

7 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself On Social Media

social media comparison

We've all been there - not feeling yourself, demotivated, perhaps doubting your successes in life. Then you log on to Instagram, and there it is, hundreds of highly edited photos from those travelling the world; modelling bikinis with the figure you've always wanted looking undeniably "perfect"; those getting the keys to their first home and having children in their perfect marriages; those moving to the big city to pursue your dream career; or even those sharing their expensive handbag collection which might be worth more than your life savings. Whilst I'm very much a person who loves seeing others thrive and share their content with the world, on days when you're not feeling quite right these posts can give your inner saboteur the fuel to make you feel ten times more worthless. Of course, it's not the other person's fault that you're having these feelings. 99% of the time, I feel empowered and inspired to set my own goals and I must like their content enough to follow them in the first place. However, it's always okay to admit that it's become too much and take temporary action to step away from it, even without the other party knowing. 

Why do we compare?

Often we find ourselves stuck in a comparison trap because we compare our behind-the-scenes mundane everyday moments with someone else's success and highlight reel. We each have our own insecurities which can often feel triggered by things we observe or see and that's no different on social media. We may question our accomplishments, appearance and even personality traits. 

I recently shared a poll on my Instagram stories of which 92% of you agreed that you had compared yourself on social media to someone you didn't even know. 70% of you had unfollowed someone due to these feelings of comparison, and 57% of you mostly compared your lifestyle whereas 43% mostly compared their looks.

So how can we stop comparing ourselves and our lives to others on social media?

There is a few actions you can take.

  • Mute Instagram accounts that you are finding triggering. You can do this either temporarily or for the longer term. The other party won't even know you have muted their account as they won't lose you as a follower. By muting them, you won't be seeing posts from them on your feeds anymore. You take more control and you only see their content if you search for it. To mute an account, head to their profile. Click 'Following', then select 'Mute' from the menu, choose whether you'd like to mute posts and/or stories.
  • Limit your time on social media. Instagram has a handy tool which allows you to set a timer for your daily usage on the platform. You'll get a notification once you've reached that set amount of time for the day and you can decide if it's now time to come off the app. To set your daily activity reminder, head to 'Settings', then 'Your Activity', and 'Set Daily Reminder' choosing an amount of time that suits you. Alternatively, you could consider deleting social media apps from your phone all together. You keep your accounts live but you won't be spending time scrolling as the temptation has gone from your fingertips. You can always re-install whenever you feel like it. 
  • Unfollow accounts that make you feel more negative than positive. This is a longer term solution which will remove that account from your following list and you'll no longer see posts from them on your feed.
  • Redirect your focus onto the things that really matter to you. Take time out to spend time on things that matter to you. This could be anything from practicing yoga or growing your own to volunteering at the local dog's home. These things that you do that help yourself or others can feel super rewarding and humbling. You'll remember that it's not all about what you have or how you look, but more how you feel and how you help others.
  • Remind yourself that everybody is on different journeys. You never know what anybody is going through behind closed doors so always, be kind. 
  • Learn to celebrate other people's successes with them rather than compare to your own. Instead of seeing a post and feeling down about yourself, why not comment a compliment and some love heart emojis. They'll hopefully reciprocate and you'll feel good that you were there to support them and be a part of their positive moment. 
  • Try to only follow accounts that inspire you or that you find relatable. 

"Never compare your chapter 1 to somebody else's chapter 20"

When talking about social media comparison, it is easy to forget that there are other aspects of social media which make it an incredible tool. Right now it's connecting us socially more than ever. I can think of so many inspiring people who are using these platforms to share their voice; freelancers who've felt more empowered to take the plunge into self employment; and start ups utilising the power of social media advertising and user generated content to build their brand. As a consumer, it can motivate us, inspire us, connect us and entertain us. We just need to ensure that we use social media in a way that works for us. 

Hopefully, the tips that I've listed above have helped you and given you some things to try next time you feel overwhelmed by social media comparison. Please continue the conversation by leaving a comment below or sharing this post to your social channels. I'd love to know how you control social media comparison in your own life and the steps you are taking to minimise it.

Continue the conversation with me over on Instagram @evieroselane or by posting a comment below.


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