Whenever someone spends time on social media, they could end up looking through what their friends have been doing. Furthermore, they could look into what certain celebrities have been doing.
When this takes place, there could be times when they end up feeling happy and times when they end up feeling sad. There could also be a number of other emotional states that they go into when they look over what other people have been doing.
Now, if one of their friends was to share a happy picture of themselves or some good news, it could result in them also feeling good. If the opposite took place, one could end up feeling bad.
What this could illustrate is that this is someone who they are really close to. Then again, one could just be someone who has a lot of empathy, which is why they have the tendency to experience strong emotions when go online.
Another reason why one could experience a strong reaction when they see what another person has been doing is because they have made a comparison. If one believes that their life is better than one of their friends, they could feel good; but if they don’t, they could feel bad.
They might not simply compare their life with other people’s lives, though; they could also compare their appearance with them too. If this was to take place, it is likely to show that one looks to what is going on ‘out there’ to gauge how well they are doing in life.
A Losing Battle
The trouble with this approach is that one didn’t start from the same point as anyone else, and they are on their own path in life. Taking this into account, it would be far healthier for them to compare themselves with where they started.
By looking back on their own timeline and seeing where they started from, they will be able to accurately assess how well they are doing. When one compares their life with someone else’s life, it will be similar to a dog comparing their life with a horse.
A Waste of Time
What will have most likely played a part in why one would compare their life with someone else’s life is the conditioning that they have received throughout their life. Their time in the school system, for instance, will have most likely played a big part.
This would have probably been a time when they were just seen as another child who needed to be educated, as opposed to a child that already had knowledge within them. But if they were taught by people that had also gone though the same programming, this is to be expected.
At the same time, even if one did start off at the same starting point as everyone else and was also on the same path, it still doesn’t mean that it would be a good idea for them to compare their life with others online. The reason for this is that what they see online might have very little basis in reality.
One can then believe that one of their friends is doing really well, yet it doesn’t mean that this is actually the case. In the same way that someone can edit their pictures to make themselves look perfect; they can also edit their life to create the impression that everything is perfect.
Just as a house can look great on the outside but be in complete mess on the inside, someone life’s can also be the same. It is not as though it is hard for someone to make out that their life is perfect online.
To create this impression, the only thing that they need to do is to upload pictures where they are on holiday and are smiling. The areas of their life that are not going well can be kept offline.
No Better Off
One can then compare their life with someone else’s life, believing that this person’s life is better than theirs, and the other person could be in a very bad place. This person could even be looking at what one has been doing and wish that their life was like theirs.
But even though this person’s life is not going well, they might be too ashamed to open up to anyone about it. Their need to maintain the image that they have created is going to be more important than their own happiness.
A Big Trap
What this shows is that not only can one suffer if they get too caught up in what they see online; they can also suffer if they use social media to try to make out that their life is perfect. One way for one to stop themselves from getting too sucked into what they see, is for them to think about what they are not seeing.
Ultimately, no matter how good someone’s life is, there are bound to be things that they are not happy with. Everyone on this planet has stuff to deal with, and even if someone is rich, famous and talented, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have problems.
If one finds that they are not happy with the direction that their life is going, it will be a good idea for them to look into what they can do to get back on track. The time and energy that goes into comparing their life with others can be directed towards their own growth.
They owe it to themselves to live a life that is fulfilling, so fulfilling that they no longer need to compare their life with the edited lives that they see online. There is plenty of information online when it comes to what they can do to transform their life.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.