Social media is a friend and a foe, all rolled up into one. It can help you feel connected and allow you keep up to date with the goings on in your circles. But conversely it can create a distance in real human connection. Sometimes it can seem easier to just Facebook someone or send a text. But real human connection is vital for the human soul. Friendships cannot be just played out in a virtual world. I know when you're feeling down it can seem almost impossible to pick up the phone and invite someone to meet face-to-face. But it's something I really recommend. Invite someone for a cup of tea and a chat, it can help lift your spirits.
The downside to social media sites is that it can lead us to compare our lives to other people's highlight reels. Everybody wants to share their best bits. They don't share photos of themselves in their jammies covered in toast crumbs at 2 pm on a Saturday. Remember that. You don't see the full picture!
It can be upsetting when it seems that everyone is always at parties and having a great life. This can be especially difficult when you're struggling to even get out of bed. Remember that people put up their best bits. It's not a true reflection of their whole life.
When I was young I used to think it was very weird that people on TV didn't use the bathroom. Silly me. Of course they do, but it doesn't make for good telly! And likewise in a world where so many don't feel good enough, people don't put their less than flattering selves on the internet.
It's important to remember that everybody doesn't have a perfect life, no matter what Facebook seems to portray. We all struggle. We all fall down. We all do and say things we regret, but if we learn from it then there's NOTHING to regret.
Sometimes it's even worth taking a break from social media. Your life is for you to live, not to prove its value through photographs and tagging in to 'cool' places.
If you find yourself comparing and feeling badly about yourself when online try out some of these tips:
1. Learn to change the way you use social media. Participate with your brain turned on. Actively remind yourself that you're seeing people's best bits! Learn to filter out the unhelpful bits.
2. Consider meeting up with your friends face-to-face. You'll often hear a different perspective on that great party that seemed flawless. Real human connection is vital and will remind you that your friends are not celebrities with perfect lives.
3. Consider taking a break for a while. I often deactivate my Facebook account when I feel too sensitive and don't feel able to stop the comparing. I return when I'm in a better mind set.
4. Put things in perspective. If that party was that fun, then why did people have time to repeatedly post photographs online? Remember that we all have insecurities. Sometimes the people who post the most online are the most insecure. People can be falling into the trap of trying to prove their worth by showing the world their best bits.
5. Remind yourself that you're a human BEING, not a human DOING. Remember the purpose of human experience is not to put everything online. A meal is not made more enjoyable by instagramming it with a pretty filter! If you find yourself compelled to post everything online, ask yourself if it's taking from the experience. Learn to be OK with doing things just for you, and not so you can tell the world.
Have a compare free week!