The Danger of Social Media; Comparison

‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, plus a social media overreaction’                                                                        – Yago Paramo

Things like social media and the ease of access to information really do make the world a smaller place – a global community. People separated by time and distance have the opportunity to reconnect, while others find they no longer have to lose touch in the first place.

Social media has a great many advantages, and positive qualities to go with it. However, I’m not convinced that these advantages outweigh their potentially destructive counterparts. And so, the inspiration for today’s post – the danger of comparison. As human beings, we can’t help comparing ourselves to others; from a young age we are taught to do so. The concept of standardised testing is a prime example of this – our performance is measured against and compared to the performance of others, and we are accorded a rating or rank as a result. Same thing applies to so many other aspects of our lives, and so it is no surprise that the same would apply when it comes to social media, the single most pervasive influence in modern society.

 ‘Stay in your lane…’

‘… Comparison kills creativity and joy’. So what’s the link between social media and comparison? Well, people don’t ordinarily post about the mundane, rather, they inundate their profiles with the best parts of their lives. Parties, travel, fancy dresses, outings… People sleeping late and lying around in their pajamas all day because they have nothing better to do is not something we come across when scrolling through social media. ‘Two minute noodles for dinner again’ is not a phrase we are accustomed to happening upon while greedily ingesting the lives of others. No. We post about the best parts of our lives, and so that they look enviable and exciting to onlookers. These same onlookers then have a tendency to compare this seemingly glamorous life with the trivial and ordinary activities of their own, and are of course, doomed to come up short.

Social media has this innate capacity to make people feel inferior. No one knew or cared, really, what others were doing at this very moment in days of yore. People focused on their own lives, and did things for the joy of living life, not with the end goal in mind of how this particular activity would make their life look more interesting on social media. I, for one, am not opposed to going back to these simpler times. Of course, then even this post would be a diary entry accessible to only me, so it can’t be all bad…