HOW TO HANDLE INTERNET-INDUCED DOUBT & JEALOUSY
I struggle with the unhealthy habit of comparing myself to people on the internet. This manifests partly in a shaking of my self-confidence and self-esteem (Did I make the right choices? Could I have done a job like that instead?) and partly in jealousy (of job/lifestyle/whatever).This is how I deal with these anxieties.
- •You can't see behind the curtainBy this I mean that it's important to always always remind yourself that what's presented to the world online is just that:presented. That post, picture, or story has been staged, edited, cut, pasted, in so many ways you don't know. That person's life online is probably not nearly as easy or glamorous as it seems; you see what they want you to see. And if it IS truly that easy? Take a minute to count your own blessings, instead of wishing for theirs. If that doesn't work...
- •Out of sight, out of mindThe most effective way I've found to handle these issues is to unfollow blogs or Instagram accounts that trigger these feelings. This probably sounds drastic and/or obvious, but it is necessary. I thought I'd miss getting those emails or visiting certain accounts regularly, but truly I don't: the cons of following certain accounts far outweighed the pros. I'm not as on top of certain trends, my Instagram feed is in some ways less pretty and stylized, but that's a-okay with me now.
- •Be graciousThis is most necessary when it comes to IRL friends who are using the same platforms you are, but it really applies generally, too. Your friend's post got more likes? They have way more followers? GOOD FOR THEM. Seriously. And share in their excitement if they mention a milestone. We should be building eachother up on a regular basis, not begrudging people good will or mentally picking them apart. When you feel the green eyed monster rear its ugly head...
- •Remember: it's not personalI found myself "competing" against people on the Internet...when really the only person I was competing against was myself. Yes, a sense of competition can be healthy and spark ambition and drive. But it can quickly spiral out of control, especially when it comes to competitions that are fictions of the imagination. And someone else's success through blogging or social media is not (in most cases), a personal affront to you, nor is it a comment on your own skills. Don't take it as such.
- •...put it in perspectiveUltimately, does it matter if someone's online presence is "better" than yours? Maybe, if you're head of Coca Cola social media and Pepsi is kicking ass. But when it comes to social media for fun (for lack of a better term), take a step back when your Internet world starts to negatively impact your reality. Can and should two overlap? Absolutely. But when it starts to rule your reality, put the phone down/step away from the screen and do something that invests time in yourself and others IRL.