Why Social Comparison is Bad and The Role Social Media Plays

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Comparison is normal. It’s something all humans do and, sometimes, may not be a bad thing. Like when it helps us:

  • improve
  • assess where we are / figure out how far we’ve come
  • feel better about ourselves

In other words… self-evaluate.

But more often than not, playing the comparison game is crippling. And I honestly can’t think of a bigger culprit — in this day and age — than social media.

Social Comparison Bad Due to Media

Why Social Comparison is Bad and The Role Social Media Plays

It is said that happiness is found when we stop comparing ourselves to other people. Every minute that we spend…

  • wishing we had someone else’s life
  • beating ourselves up because we don’t have what others have
  • modeling our future based on images we see in TV/movies/magazines 

…is time spent wasting our own lives.

This concept, in general, is called social comparison.

And it’s crazy to think that social comparison was such a big deal in the 1950s — when they really started looking (and understanding) this phenomenon.

Back then, the only thing we really had to compare ourselves to were people we knew personally, in real life.

Today, though, we’re comparing ourselves to anything BUT real. 

When you’re scrolling your favorite social media platform, more often than not, there is SOME element — in the images you’re seeing — that has been:
  • altered
  • filtered
  • carefully curated 
  • edited

So, we’re just comparing our lives — financial status, body, face, friendship circle, success, etc. —  to things that don’t even exist. They are digital creations. 

Social Comparison Due to Media Scrolling Makes us Feel Sad and Competitive

Hence, social comparison is exponentially more…

  • intense
  • powerful
  • predominant 

…today because of social media.

Depending on how old you are, I’m willing to bet that your parents didn’t have to struggle with the same type of egregious comparison — and the anxiety and negative feelings that come with it — the way that you do.

Solution

Can you guess?

Put the phone away!

Even if our intention when opening Instagram or TikTok is to distract us from our crazy lives and, hopefully, lift our spirits… that is NOT what happens.

See, your subconscious mind will find evidence to support your negative hypothesis about who you are or wish you were. 

My recommendations to stop all the bad social comparison (due to social media). 

Take in your favorite:

  • devotional
  • spiritual lesson
  • guided mediation
  • uplifting audiobook/podcast

It is so powerful to believe in something bigger than yourself!

Music! Exercise! Nature!

Social Media Comparison Can Stop When Listening to Uplifting Things

Listening to music, working out, getting outside… changes our:

  • energy level
  • state
  • emotion

And you must do ALL the above while NOT looking at your phone!

For my very strict guidelines on how I honor my time by restricting social media, plus:

  • Why it’s not as hard as you think to break the comparison habit
  • The 2 reasons why we compare ourselves
  • Who we tend to compare ourselves to
  • A simple question to ask yourself to stop the comparison game
  • How predictability plays a role in comparison

Then, you must check out this episode of The Chalene Show:

And don’t forget to subscribe to TCS for weekly shows dedicated to your personal growth!

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