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Steer Clear of the Social Media Comparison Trap

I’m on my knees…

Smack dab in the middle of my living room carpet surrounded by mounds of laundry…

Sobbing.

I just hurled my cell phone across the room in a rage.

It’s only 8am.

The culprit…I scrolled through Facebook.

Have you been there too?

Too many times I have let what I see on Facebook cause me to feel downright shameful. I get sucked into the comparison trap in a matter of seconds.

We all do it. We compare our lives, our families, our kids, our marriages, our bodies, our houses. Even though we hate how it makes us feel, we do it anyway.

And social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram plop a massive magnifying glass right on top of our comparison and make it so overpowering that we struggle to think rationally.

The never __________ enough thoughts start pouring in that Brene Brown talks about in her book Daring Greatly:

  • never thin enough
  • never clean enough
  • never organized enough
  • never important enough
  • never pretty enough
  • never thoughtful enough
  • never happy enough
  • never successful enough
  • never good enough

We scroll through our newsfeed and see all the ideal pictures. Perfectly decorated homes, romantic date nights, fancy new cars, over the top science fair projects, relaxing vacations, selfies, toned bodies, all edited with just the right filter.

Then we take our head out of our phones and look up to see dirty dishes in the sink, mounds of unfolded laundry, and we hear the kids fighting in the bedroom down the hall.

Practice these tips and steer clear of the social media comparison trap:

ASK YOURSELF…IS THIS REAL LIFE?

Yep! But it isn’t the whole story. For every fun family weekend there is another one sitting at home on the couch binging on Netflix and Blue Bell ice cream while the kids run a muck in the playroom. For every delicious meal depicted on your Instagram feed there is most likely ten other fast food trips through the drive thru on our way to soccer practice.

Remember that we all show our highlight reel on social media with images and statuses presenting only a romanticized portrayal of our life with children. Huffington Post Parents calls this “Fakebooking – posting photos and statuses that cast family events in an unrealistic light.”

Don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.

DON’T START YOUR DAY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.

Most of us practically sleep with our phones. Before our feet even hit the floor we are scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed.

You instantly see that Susie and her hubby celebrated 12 years of marital bliss at a fancy dinner last night. You suddenly realize that your anniversary was last week and you and your hubby both forgot. Ouch! Next thing you know you are calling your therapist because you think your marriage is in the tubes.

Instead, leave the phone on your bedside table and enjoy a good cup of coffee and a book to get your morning started in a calm, refreshing way. I always have a self development book that I am reading through to help me get in the right frame of mind for the day.

Start your day by filling yourself with positive, empowering thoughts instead of Facebook or Instagram.

SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME WITH PEOPLE OFF LINE.

Put your phone away and spend time with people face to face. Have a family movie night with loads of buttered popcorn, leave your phone in the house and play a game of football in the yard with the kids, or gather your girlfriends together for a girls’ night out.

I wonder. Did it really happen if we don’t post about it?

Designate certain times to enjoy social media throughout the day and the rest of the time, stay off of it. Don’t let Facebook or Instagram steal not only your joy, but your precious time as well.

Next time you find yourself triggered by someone’s Facebook or Instagram pics, remember that you are simply looking at an airbrushed and Instagrammed image of real life.

 And share this post with your gal pals…as moms, we all need to know how to stop ourselves from falling into the “social media comparison trap”.

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