I quite like browsing through the new InstaStories, and seeing what people get up to in real time. I never got the hang of SnapChat, so this copycat move, was a welcome development for some of us.
However, as we are constantly being let into the lives of people – whether pre-recorded or on the go – many people tend to think the grass is greener on another person’s feed. From vacation photos, designer pieces, perfect families, ‘fleek’ faces and ‘snapped back bodies’, there’s an increasing rise in comparison and social media envy. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers discuss it lately, and for what it’s worth, I’ll be adding my two cents on practical ways to nip it in the bud!
I remember just two days after I started blogging, I found myself looking at the stats of a blogger who had been in the game for two years. Because she had live feed, I could literally see the stats moving with every click. Talked about it in this post.
Over the weekend, I stumbled on a video by a rather popular YouTube blogger and she discussed how she found herself feeling more insecure – she felt others were better, she didn’t feel pretty and her snap back wasn’t like some other persons. I didn’t watch the full video, but I got the hang of it from the summary and the comments.
It was rather surprising, because hundreds of thousands of people are out there comparing themselves to her. Hoping they could have her kind of man, her YouTube success and her fame.
Unhealthy comparison and envy has a way of sucking you so deep into a dark place. It’s almost like a one way misery ticket.
Humans are naturally prone, but hey, we can’t give in to such. So, when you find the first few seeds creeping up, here’s what to do. This is listed in no particular order, and will depend on particular circumstances.
1. Realise the folly in unhealthy comparison:
Honestly what’s there to gain? If you find a good thing about it, please let me know. It’s an unhealthy cycle (that will always go on and on), because guess what, someone will ALWAYS be better. So can you please get out of the pit already?
Just log off. It’s okay to unfollow certain people on social media if it’ll help your sanity and if you realise that ‘inspiration’ has gradually started crossing the line to the side of envy. At the time of writing this, I’d deleted my IG app. Not because of any particular concerns, but I just felt like doing away with it. I’ll obviously have it back up soon, but even if for just 24 -48 hours – it’s felt good to disconnect.
3. Perfection is an Illusion
Perfection is an illusion. I learnt this quote as a child it’s stuck with me. As they say, don’t try to look like the girl in the magazine. Because the girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine! In this era of apps that whiten your eyes, and insert makeup, and the habit of taking a million selfies to only post one, it’ll be ridiculous to stay comparing to what’s not real.
You drool at many fashions bloggers constantly with 6 inch heels giving you fashion outfit ideas for daily purposes. But you fail to acknowledge that they had more comfy flat shoes on and only swapped to heels for the duration of the shoot – where they shot 10 different looks at a go. Just recently, I was gushing about an event on social media that literally screamed perfect. Until an insider reviewed it and noted the many hiccups and how it was almost a disaster. We couldn’t tell from the photos. Not one bit!
4. Get Busy
The busier you are, the less time you have to notice these things. So if you’re constantly noticing them, you don’t have enough things on your plate. Go fill it up!
5. Lean In and Learn
Why compare when you can learn? If I constantly find myself envying the well toned arms and abs of someone, how about I lean in and see if I can learn from what they do – and how to improve. Or if someone genuinely seems to manage her family / business better than I do – it’s worth learning from her. Either from a distance or reaching out to her and asking directly. If your friend got a better paying job / gig / endorsements, ask how they did it and any tips they may offer. I find that people are honestly really helpful with such things.
6. Comparing Oranges with Apples?
You’ve probably heard that if we judged a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll never succeed. And that’s what many of us stay doing – looking at other peoples achievements and successes and comparing it to ours where there’s absolutely no relationship! You are unique and different.
In high school, I was totally blown away when I realised the pattern on every single individuals thumb was different! I mean, how amazing. How boring it’ll be if we all looked the same and had the same things. I already get pretty bored of the perfectly curated IG feeds and the blogs that seemingly look alike!
7. Celebrate yourself
One thing we probably don’t do enough, is celebrate ourselves and our past achievements. We’re constantly thinking of the next milestone, and the people who are already there – without taking a minute to look back and see how far we’ve come, and be truly grateful for this! If we do this often, were less likely to harbour envy. Gratitude and envy don’t really mix.
8. Compliment & be genuinely happy for people!
I know some people can pull off complimenting people and still being envious. But it’s kinda tough. So find a place in your heart to truly compliment their achievements and envy should flee!
9. Count your blessings!
You want to go on a vacation because everyone on your feed posts photos of crystal clear waters. Valid desires indeed. But have you thought of the thousands of people out there who all they want is a roof above their head? By our very nature we are insatiable beings. But stop, count your blessings. 1. 2. 3…. 100! Can you see how much you’ve already got?
10. Last Thoughts
I know this is a bit extreme. But extreme times call for extreme measures! So, have a think “At the end of the day, when I’m 100+ and about to leave this earth. Will it really matter that Blogger B had 100k followers while I had 2k. Will I still be green with envy at the designer pieces on Instagram”. I guess if you think your answer will be yes, then it’s okay to keep being envious and feeling insecure. If not, let it go ok?
In general, you should stop comparing yourself with others and start comparing yourself with you. Have you met your goals and targets you set for yourself? Are you watering your own grass?
Do you ever find social media envy creep up on you? In what areas? and how do you nip this?
pS: Don’t forget you can leave comments without creating a Disqus account. Use the guest option. Love to hear your thoughts!
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PreciousOctober 26, 2016 at 00:29
Well said, Kachee. The woman in the magazine doesn’t look like the woman in the magazine. How true!! I’m all for getting busy and being genuinely happy for others. Thank you for touching on this!PreciousCore.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 10:37
You’re always welcome Precious!
Brenda MobebiOctober 26, 2016 at 01:00
Hey Katchee, that was deep though and so insightful. its not only in blogging people compare, but almost in every aspect of human endeavours. I remember when after my nysc in 2009 and had no job till almost 2011, i was literally shut myself out of the world. Most times i compared myself with friends who had richer parents and were quick to secure employment due to connection. Not knowing that most of them weren’t even happy with their job and wanted out, something i was dying to have, lol.I wouldn’t advise anyone to compare but sometimes you have to look at others to know where you are especially when really stuck in a position and see how and how to help your self and the changes to make if you want to move ahead.brendascouch.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:38
That’s so true! it’s okay to be inspired, but not throw yourself in a pit out of envy. And totally applies to everyone, not just bloggers.
Toluwalade Toyin-KehindeOctober 26, 2016 at 04:06
This post is very apt. This is the reason I don’t spend too much time on snapchat and instastories… Everybody seems to be having a fleeky life compared to my tired 8-6class life plus study and struggle with sleep in between Lmao. I realized people only put up the best part and leave out the in between. So it’s not fair to myself if I’m comparing my inbetween to their best part.www.toyinwithfashion.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:42
Girl, this is me! Like sometimes I want to share stuff on IG, but my everyday life is at my office desk mostly. Same old, same old. Lol!
TRAVEL WITH A PENOctober 26, 2016 at 07:49
Spot on, Kachee.. I was just writing about beating FOMO (fear of missing out) the other day and I cannot over-emphasize the point you made about counting your blessings.. While you’re wishing to be like someone, your current status is someone else’s prayer point. We should all strive to be better and find people that inspire us to do so but like you said, when it’s slowly becoming envy, stop, re-access and think about the best way forward.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:41
FOMO is so real! Thank you for sharing love!
PamelaOctober 26, 2016 at 08:20
I had previously struggled with comparison until I channelled it to learning from whoever it is. And the fact that people only put their best lives on the internet helped me past that. Don’t hate, Emulate.www.heelsandabout.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:43
That’s what I try to do as well. Be inspired and learn!
Paula Olaitan BenedictOctober 26, 2016 at 09:29
Very apt …. Just this morning, I put up my left fingers as my BBM display picture with the caption “All fingers are not equal, don’t be envious (i.e.stop unhealthy comparisons). Like you i never got a hang of snap chat and currently I am so detached from my IG because I got busier, it’s a lot of distraction and a lot of people get depressed just by seeing some picture or listening to some video… it’s totally uncalled for. But we must continually create awareness for people to love themselves more, be thankful for the little they have (assuming what they have is little) and get busy. I particularly find two phrases in the write up very insightful:first: “Perfection is an illusion – An oasis in the desert.”second: “don’t try to look like the girl in the magazine. Because the girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine!”Well written gurl…xoxo
AbbyOctober 26, 2016 at 09:37
Truer words have never been said! It’s a very unhealthy cycle and I think the first step is identifying that it’s a problem.When I look through profiles on LinkedIn and see mind blowing achievements the comparison feeling creeps up but I’ve learnt to channel such into structuring my own career and also learning how to improve on my skills, finding interesting career possibilities and amazing companies out there.Learning to disconnect is also very important and necessary especially cos there’s way too much information to take in and the world is moving at a ridiculous fast pace these days.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:44
Interestingly, LinkedIn inspires me more than tensions. Maybe because I can’t see their salaries. Lol! Too much information everywhere, it’s honestly hard to even keep up. Plus so unnecessary!
TomiOctober 26, 2016 at 10:35
Hi Kachi, I love your blog and i am a first time commenter, I really understand what you mean by comparison.I feel like i am not could be in a better place in my life and when I see the things people my age around me are doing and have achieved i feel a bit down. Some people think i am too over ambitious and I have the rest of my life to achieve all my goals but i just feel like I am lagging behind compared to everyone else
KarenOctober 27, 2016 at 06:06
OMG I know how you feel too and people tell me the same thing – that I’m young and still have the rest of my life to figure it out. It can be very frustrating because these people doing great things with their lives don’t have two heads. I’ve sha come to the conclusion to let go and let God. Imma shine when imma shine…lol
Arrey EchiOctober 26, 2016 at 11:26
Hi Kachi,I really enjoyed this article and I so relate with the blogging and followers thing. What makes me rather lean in and learn than being envious of those who have thousands of followers is the simple fact that we all may be blogging but our messages and audiences may be different. So yes, I agree, stay focused on your goals and target and appreciate, compliment and count your blessings. At the end of the day, that is all what truly matters.www.joy2endure.comhttp://joy2endure.com/index…
KuchOctober 26, 2016 at 12:44
Hi Kachi. i support logging off and unfollowing the tensioners. I have even comtemplated going off all social media.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 07:27
Hi Kuch! Might be hard to go off completely, but once in a while is certainly do-able.
UfuomaOctober 26, 2016 at 13:23
Absolutely love this post and it is so relevant for what the Social Media atmosphere has become- sometimes toxic. Comparison is the thief of joy, they say. I always make such a conscious effort to avoid doing it, whenever I catch myself doing it, I snap out of it and remind myself that all our journeys are different and we can all bloom where we are planted.One way I combat envy is by spreading love instead, works like magic. If someone is doing something I have always wanted to do, or looks “on fleek” while I am home in my hairnet looking quite the opposite, I just compliment them. If its a blogger who has accomplished so much in my blogging field or even in general, I subscribe, comment, show them love and the envy flees fast.It’s not easy but it can definitely be worked on. Very solid points, Kachee.www.theufuoma.comTravel | Lifestyle | Passion
GREAT LADYOctober 26, 2016 at 15:46
I love this,very apt. I wrote something similar to this for bella naija. Compare yourself to yourself, word. MEMOIRSOFAGREATLADY.COM
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:36
That’s all really. Your only competition is you!
Bubu GreenOctober 26, 2016 at 20:35
Oh dear, Kachee. Well said. Talked about it in one of my past posts. I thank God that I really am not moved by these things. Social media can kill one’s spirit with the “highlight reel” of people’s lives. So I just tell myself they are putting their best foot forward and doesn’t affect me in anyway. I am genuinely happy for them. Sometimes I ask for more info from them if I’m interested in what they showcased. You are right, even the girl in the magazine doesn’t recognize herself after it is published. I pray people just know this truth. Be you and do you! It’s a lot easier to stay in your lane. I watched that same video that vlogger posted and I just felt for her. She’s beautiful and smart but imagine how the internet messed with her mind. Thank God she’s back cos I love her. Everyone is a work in progress. Same insecurities, different areas. Same victories, different timings.www.bubusboulevard.com
DemiladeOctober 27, 2016 at 11:14
Love everything you said Kachee. I know the youtuber you’re talking about, I watched the video as well. You are so right, we gain nothing by comparing ourselves to others. And as you said, in our final moments on earth, these things won’t even matter. Getting busy is the best solution, when you’re focused on yourself you won’t even have the time to look at others! Loved this post. xxcocobellablog.com
Natalie Da SilvaOctober 27, 2016 at 12:40
Hey there, I couldn’t agree more with the tips!! I think these are very very important!http://lifeofacameo.blogspo…
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:36
They are!, and thanks for your first time comment!
DamiLovesOctober 27, 2016 at 13:33
All great points. That final point puts things in perspective. No one on their death bed says ‘I wish I had made more money’ instead they reflect on the quality of their relationships. Comparison truly murders contentment.Women who defied the other room
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:36
It does indeed Dami!!
CozyZenOctober 27, 2016 at 13:56
I think I know the Youtuber you are talking about, Patricia? The struggle is real out there and sometimes having a tunnel vision helpswww.cozyzen.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 27, 2016 at 15:35
Struggle is really real. Agree with you. Yes, it was she!
Cynthia AbayomiOctober 27, 2016 at 20:08
Yes i saw Patricia’s video pop up. i haven’t watched it tho. I honestly don’t allow social media get to me. I go online when i want to, I post what i want to post when i want to post it. I check out other people but i really try not to envy them because sometimes when am not feeling too good with my myself or am at my low point and i post a picture or video, i see people comment on how i am living the fab life or how am enjoying. I just laugh. Now i apply this whenever i feel like i may want to be envious of someone else’s life, i tell myself….Cynthia, you don’t know what is happening behind the curtains….. It always works.
Yummy Mum LifeOctober 27, 2016 at 20:44
It’s very important that people know how to kill this virus…dead indeed!It eats you up.I just log out,spend more time with my family and friends and re-evaluate my life including reasons why I actually enjoy social media.www.CheecheeLIVE.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 28, 2016 at 00:43
Logging out is so useful! To actually enjoy spending real time with the people around you without necessarily uploading every second.
MercyOctober 28, 2016 at 00:55
Kachi, these are great tips!Few months ago, one of my friends and I decided to delete all our social media apps for a week. We were experiencing lots of negative feelings and knew it was time to detox. It was a great week! Not having my phone permanently glued to my palm was nice and what about the better BATTERY LIFE! I quickly realised that most times I was spending more time trying to get a picture/video of a moment, rather than simply savouring it. Crazy stuff! I think I’ll start taking a week long break every couple of months. My mind can only take so much! I refuse to let negativity take over my spirit.xx
Kachee || KacheeTee.comOctober 28, 2016 at 09:27
I agree!! Many times we’re trying to get the perfect video / picture and may not be really in the moment. I def need to detox more often!
glowingscenesOctober 28, 2016 at 17:35
Will I still be green with envy at the designer pieces on Instagram”. I guess if you think your answer will be yes, then it’s okay to keep being envious and feeling insecure. I don’t know if I’m just weird and found this part very funny.LOOL. It’s so true. While reading your post, I’m reminded by a book I read this week-Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. Was even planning to do a review next week. You shared beautiful tips Kachee, and there’s something God taught me which I even wrote a post on. At a time I was already getting carried away when He cautioned me to Face my lane. lol. I also have His word to bring me back “Those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise’ Like you said, celebrate yourself. I like that. Celebrate the God in you. Like a friend told me one time. You may just be in your chapter 3 and you’re comparing yourself with someone who’s in her chapter 7 or thereabout.’ Just live life jare and have fun. I also tend to stay away from social media for a while when I sense distraction is beginning to overwhelm devotion if we let it.Much love. xo!
Kachee || KacheeTee.comNovember 2, 2016 at 23:27
I’ve been wanting to get Lias’s book! And i just saw your review post which i have to read. Heard so much good stuff about that book. Totally agree with you. I feel overwhelmed sometimes and I just back off. Happy November!!
NgumabiNovember 3, 2016 at 14:51
The grass seems greener on the other side only because we are far away. Get closer and you will see that it aint any greener than the side you left. Trying to be like someone else makes you become like another one of them. But being yourself makes your head stick out of the crowd.I love this post! Thanks Kachee!ngraffi.blogspot.com/2016/1…
Kachee || KacheeTee.comNovember 7, 2016 at 12:47
Yes to being yourself all the time! Thank you!
@ilolaNovember 3, 2016 at 20:50
Very true. Before last week, I didn’t post for about a month. It is my least fave socia media platform, but I think it presents great opportunities for me, which is why I’m still there. I’ve seen so many lies on IG for me to be moved one bit.How to use the Vision Board to get whatever you want in life… including marriage
Berry DakaraNovember 5, 2016 at 20:28
Such feelings were what prompted me to write my series on Social Media Envy – which by the way, a lot of people don’t think is a real thing! I wonder if it is, moreso for bloggers and Youtubers.www.berrydakara.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comNovember 7, 2016 at 12:47
I think people who spend a lot of time on Social Media and in addition put their lives out there are arguably more prone. So YouTubers and Bloggers probably fall in this category!
SauniyaNovember 10, 2016 at 18:26
I think we all have different blessing and challenges in life, so I try not to compare. Plus a lot of people tend to share their happy moments and not their struggles. i completely agree with your words, especially the points about staying busy and celebrating yourself. Have a lovely rest of the week :)xoSauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡
MemkohNovember 11, 2016 at 06:40
You spoke the truth in this post!! Social media depression is something our generation will suffer from because we fail to separate fantasy from reality and the overwhelming social media channels don’t help our case either. Unplugging is definitely a key step in order to heal.
BeccahApril 7, 2017 at 12:45
I’m saving this post to read again whenever I’m feeling insecure! Thanks so much for this. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of feeling that you’re not as good as others, or envying what they have, but we are all human beings and none of us are perfect.I’ve learnt to avoid certain types of blogs and Instagrams because they do make me feel bad about myself or envious. The travel and food ones are not for me! One thing that really helps is something I read on Tumblr a while back that said something along the lines of christmas lights and flowers are both beautiful but they look nothing alike. It helps me to focus on my own strengths rather than wishing I had other people’s.Beccah xxthehonestolive.com
WanShyGirl BlogAugust 22, 2017 at 23:47
I just realized that this post was from last year but it’s really so applicable to me currently. I had similar thoughts few weeks ago and just chose to lay off the blog for a while. I’m still on my break yet the feelings have gone and I feel better. Everyone needs to read this. 👍👍👍👍👍