612 x 612. That is the size that instagram forces me to use when sharing my life with my social media friends. That square brings the filtered lives of both our friends and people we have never met to our finger tips. I catch myself ever so frequently scrolling down my timeline and admiring with envy the “fabulousity” that is everyone’s life . They are on a yacht on some magical island and here I am, by myself, on a Friday night, with nothing to do but eat ice-cream and watch Say Yes To the Dress.
Their life serves as a reminder of how unexciting mine is.
We may not readily admit to this effect of social media on our lives, but it is very much there.
I first noticed this “comparison effect” when I decided to stay off social media for a while because it was toxic to my soul. The quote that “comparison is the thief of joy” holds so much truth in our lives. Social media is perhaps the worst place to draw comparisons though. Of course people’s lives look better on the internet. That is why its the internet! I mean lets be real, the couple that’s always “woman crushing” and “man crushing” each other have had a few fights and no one looks that perfectly airbrushed everyday; nobody woke up like that.
The problem is we are judging the quality of our lives against something that has already been cropped and edited.
The moments in life that I truly cherish and that brings me joy cannot be fully captured in a picture or a status update. By no means am I saying that the internet or social media is bad, that would be hypocritical. However, we can let it control our moods and emotions and even dictate our happiness or we can use it to connect with people and to reflect the life we actually live and not just the one we wish for.