If you are a normal warm blooded millennial, chances are you have an account with at least one of these platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
Therefore, the typical any-day-of-the-week scenario goes something like this: I get back from work/uni/whatever else I spend my day doing and in a moment of quiet I start scrolling through my timeline. I like some posts, laugh at some more, scoff at others and perhaps screen munch one or two and send to my whatsapp group chat. But then there’s that one person whose life just seems enviable and I jump from my timeline to his/hers and scroll through almost all their pictures like I probably have before. Then maybe they have a boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband who just happens to have an account so I click on their username too. Great! More stalkathon opportunities for me!! By the time I’m done, one of two things is my fate – I feel some typa way and wish I had their life or I feel like my life seems better than someone else’s. But chances are the first option is the most likely.
COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY and the WINGMAN OF INSECURITY!
Social media is all sorts of great because you stay connected to the rest of the world, you have a whole pot of information at your disposal just by scrolling and you can equally share information to large audiences at the click of an icon. But at the same time, some people fall into the trap of seeking validation on social media which leads to all posts being tailored to suit what others think as opposed to being an expression of your individuality.
All of a sudden your life seems neither complete nor exciting to you anymore, you begin to put pressure on yourself to measure up to what you think makes you more acceptable to the persons on the other side of your 140 character tweet, you begin to practice your angles like that girl that seems to rake in over 200 likes on one selfie and; you begin to post words and images you don’t even believe in. The saddest part is that you become completely blind to everything that makes you pretty awesome just the way you are.
I won’t deny that I’ve been that girl but true freedom came from understanding that people will never fully appreciate me if I keep trying to be like them because I won’t be bringing anything new to the table that way. My interests and preferred conversation topics have not been inputted into me by God just for me to let them go untapped. So I figured that I had to get to the bottom of why we might be more focused on the people on the other side and less on the one person we can truly control – our own selves:
- Pride: We all want to be liked and esteemed by others; we want people to treat whatever persona we’re offering like it’s the best out there. When this isn’t the case, it can become a by-any-means-necessary affair and this leads to us trying to mould ourselves into the persona that everybody likes and talks about all the time. So, “if you’re getting 500 retweets or likes, I’ve got to beat that!”
- Jealousy: If I wanted to be really honest with this post, I would write down the top instagram accounts that turn me into the green-eyed monster but I’d rather not. But here are some clues: they travel to a different city every week, their wardrobes might as well be Selfridges, their family life is so bubbly and problem free and to top it all off, their businesses are growing by the second. However, I have learnt and come to understand that just like me, no one else is going to put up their struggles. We only get to see whatever picture the painter decides to create, not the one life creates for them. My mantra going forward on how to overcome jealousy on social media is it’s their turn to shine so celebrate with them now because it’s only a matter of time before the circle of life gets back to you.
- Competition: Competitiveness is not all bad but if you are a sore loser, you shouldn’t play this game. Someone has it better than you and you have it better than someone else. It’s just the way it works. There’s only one spot in 1st place and it can’t always be you or me and that’s okay because X-Factor has shown us that the competition winner doesn’t actually do as well as the runners up. Just saying!
So look guys, social media should be all about expressing your awesomeness regardless of who else believes you’re awesome too. Post what you like as long as it is true to who you are and of course, is not causing harm to another person in the process e.g. slander. In summary, when it comes to how you react to what you see as well as what you post on social media platforms, “do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.” Philippians 2 : 3 (NCV).
Oh! And one more gem for ya:
’cause it’s The Steph Way