Comparison in the Social media Age

Social media is pretty inescapable for most of us and I’m in the camp who checks in regularly as I like to keep up with what people are doing and I get a high from the interaction it can bring. However, it can be both a blessing and a curse.

Sometimes, more often than I’d like, scrolling through apps and looking at other people’s lives can make me feel insecure about my own. Instagram is probably the worst for this because the images can give a perfect snapshot of the best part of someone’s life and make you want that dream body, job, house, car, holiday, Chanel bag or Gucci belt. I could write a very long post about the beauty ideals that are often presented and seem to get all the likes but that’s for another time. To be honest, I mostly follow people and bloggers that I can relate to but that doesn’t stop unfavourable comparison from rearing its ugly head occasionally.

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What I try to remember though is that many images on Instagram are often heavily edited and staged, taking many attempts to get the perfect shot.  For these people their brand is usually their full time job or if not, it takes up a lot of their time and they have resources available to them that I don’t have such as a professional camera and/or someone on hand to patiently take all of the photos that they need. I currently use my phone for photography and feel bad pestering my boyfriend or family members to take pictures of me so I don’t get decent outfit shots as often as I’d like.

Even the un-staged shots posted by people who I know who aren’t bloggers can sometimes make me feel inadequate. This also applies to achievement posts on Facebook. You know the ones; ‘Just got the keys to our new house! HashtagHomeowners.’ Although I’m pleased for people when they buy a house or pass their driving test etc it reminds me of my own failures. I tell myself that everyone reaches different milestones at their own pace and that it will be me one day but it is hard when I see people up 10 years younger than me with their sh*t together when I’m miles away from getting there myself! The only positive is it helps spur me on to put more money away each month and spend less to help me reach my goal of buying a house in the future.

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When it comes to people who blog for a living (the dream) or those lucky enough to be doing a job they love, the posts that relate to this can get me down sometimes. There is a lot to say about career expectations versus reality but I will save that for another post. The truth is for various reasons, we aren’t all doing our dream jobs and some of us may never experience the joy of loving what we do but if you decide or have little choice to stay put, the key is learning as much as you can from the experience and making the most of it. What you do day to day may be far from fun but you can find passion in your role and the people you work with may make your time at work more enjoyable. Just take pride in your job and remember that everything you do is making a difference to someone. That’s what I try to tell myself anyway!

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Despite everything I’ve said, social media does have its pros and I wouldn’t want to tar all site or apps with the same brush. Twitter for instance, usually leaves me feeling positive rather than negative. I find that there is a community of supportive people, providing you follow the right accounts and interact with others regularly and it is probably the most entertaining of all social media. It’s definitely the best place to see stranger’s opinions on everything from politics to the latest reality TV show. How we react to social media is up to us and although there are bad days where it can make you look on your life unfavourably it’s best to take it with a pinch of salt and use it to connect with friends, family and like-minded people.

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chelseyprentice

I'm a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger from London, living in Essex

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