PART 1 – AVOIDING COMPARISON ON INSTAGRAM
First things first
Instagram is great. I know that. You know that. As a blogger, artist, or small business owner, it is a fantastic creative tool for sharing, branding and networking. Nonetheless, there is definitely a dark side to Instagram. Scrolling through your home feed can often leave you feeling jealous, sad, or even inadequate. Every time you see a photo of a glowing, happy, well-dressed woman at the beach, or the gym, a little voice in your head asks, “Am I enough?”
If you get nothing else from this article, please, at least, walk away with this… You are enough. Always. No matter what. A little square photo does not, under any circumstance, determine your value or self-worth.
The (wo)man behind the mask
I find myself thinking about these words constantly. Before I discovered this quote, I had no idea how many people I was idolizing in a way that made them seem untouchable, from celebrities to famous bloggers to authority figures. This way of thinking is actually quite unhealthy, because, the reality is, we are all only human. We
may lead drastically different lives and come from different places, but we are all just people, in the end.
In my opinion, a big part of avoiding comparison on Instagram is realizing that the person in the perfectly composed square photo is just that. A person. They may have flawless hair and a professional photographer, but it doesn’t change the fact that, behind the screen, they are just like anyone else. They, too, have insecurities, and what you might not see on their Instagram account are the countless outtakes and photos they did not deem worthy for display.
The easiest way to put everything into perspective is to think of all the photos that you choose not to post on your account (the goofy selfies and quick food photos) and all the rough days that you just don’t document with your camera. Every person has those, but most choose not to advertise that to the rest of the world. That’s why it feels like your feed is full of picture-perfect moments. But you have to remember that’s only half the story.
The jealousy monster
This is one of the most truthful things I have ever read. It states that comparing yourself to someone else can only leave you feeling unhappy. Comparison is the cause of so much sadness because you can never be like anyone else. We are all so different and it is impossible for us to be anything but ourselves. That is what makes life so exciting and wonderful.
Next time you are longing to look or act like someone else, challenge yourself to look instead at how far you have come. Compare yourself now to yourself three years ago. Look at how much more you know, how much more you have experienced, how much stronger you are. Set new goals for the future, but do not base them on a photo of someone else. Inspire yourself. Empower yourself. Be your own muse.
If you are scrolling through Instagram and those feelings of inadequacy start creeping up on you, follow these steps.
No.1 : First, think about the people behind the pictures. Recognize how many imperfect photos they rejected before choosing that one.
No.2 : If that doesn’t work, try to come up with something you love about yourself; something that is unique and makes you special. Focus on that instead of whatever was upsetting you.
No.3 : If all else fails, log out of the app, turn off your phone and go do something nice for yourself. It can be anything, from a walk around the block, to a bubble bath, to a bowl of ice cream. I guarantee that taking a break will make you feel ten times better.
Always remember that you are enough. You are good enough. You are smart enough. You are strong enough. No app or photo or person can take that away from you.
Article & Graphics by The Uncommon Teen