Everyone On Social Media Has Their Act Together, So Why Am I The Only One Falling Apart?

Does social media bother you because everyone appears to be doing so well?

Your friends and acquaintances may talk about their wonderful family and friends.  They may share pictures of favorite pets that appear to be living in better home than you do. And they may gush over some breaking news – a promotion at work or a financial windfall. It appears that everyone (except you) has achieved some kind of milestone and they want you to feel good about it, too.

Worse still, there are photographs of people smirking in front of the Eiffel Tower on their recent trip to Paris. Or a happy couple may be strolling on the beaches of Cancun to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Then, to rub it in, there may be comments related to how other people have just been to these exotic location or are planning to go soon.

But, it’s ok if you don’t have your life together 100% like everyone else seems to on social media. Also, it’s ok to seek help for problems you need help with. While you may not want to share a tearful selfie on Instagram or post your binge drinking as a Facebook status update, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t address what’s really bothering you. With 7% of American adults waiting for ‘happy hour’ on a daily basis, it’s clear there is a psychiatric and substance abuse angle here as well, according to this (source), from americanaddictioncenters.org.

Let’s face it, if you have the thought that other people are doing better than you, there’s a reason you feel this way. It’s actually got less to do with them and more to do with that fact that you’re depressed. When you think about it, social media is a little like a party, where people fake laughter and good cheer after a couple of beers. The over-the-top happiness expressed on social media is just good PR. You have no idea what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Compare and Despair

In a rather amusing article entitled Compare & Despair: Is Facebook Hurting Your Self-Esteem?  Laura Ruof shares a rather snarky perspective about the depressing game of “compare and despair:”

“That girl you went to middle school with is a vegan chef and none of her meals resemble your last meal, a bag of frozen GMO corn. Your college roommate is on her third baby somehow, making you very “behind” in that aspect, too. “You didn’t run a Tough Mudder or 26.2 miles last weekend, so you aren’t about to post that the only marathon you’ve recently completed is two days of Friday Night Lights. “Oh, and your ex just bought a house, which reminds you that your rent check is late — thanks for the reminder, JERK.”

Then, just in case, you suspect, she’s the only one who plays a fast and furious game of “compare and despair,” here is another funny yet sad confession from Jennifer Garam’s article “Social Media Makes Me Feel Bad About Myself”:

“Some days I’d wake up and go online to see Facebook status updates like, “Just filmed a segment on The Today Show” or “My book hit the New York Times Bestseller list,” or “I was quoted in The Wall Street Journal–check it out!” when all I’d done so far that day was brush my teeth and have a cup of coffee. Even if I start out feeling moderately OK about myself, by the time I get off Facebook I feel like I haven’t done anything with my life because I’m not “about to send my manuscript to my agent!” or “having the best day EVER and sooo grateful for all my many blessings!””

Life is Not Passing You By

Don’t think life has passed you by in cheerful tweets, Instagram celebrations, and Facebook success stories. Here are three ideas to help you put things into perspective:

  1. Appreciate your uniqueness

Fritz Perls earned a name for himself by helping people get in touch with their feelings.  Here is his famous “Gestalt Prayer”:

  • I do my thing and you do your thing.
  • I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
  • and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
  • You are you, and I am I,
  • and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
  • If not, it can’t be helped.

(Fritz Perls, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim, 1969)

  1. Tap into the power of awareness

The plain truth is that you are you and should not compare yourself, for better or worse, with other people. In Games People Play, psychotherapist Eric Berne talks about the power of awareness. “Awareness requires living in the here and now, and not in the elsewhere, the past or the future.”

  1. Find the courage to ask for help

The way to heal your life is to find out what’s not working. There is a psychological reason that you’re comparing yourself unfavorably with others. Once you’ve grasped the reason for your emotional wound, work to heal it. This might include asking for professional help or joining a support group.

An Invitation to Heal the Pain

If social media updates and posts upset you, it’s because you believe you’re doing badly. Behind your feelings of envy and inferiority is a covert sadness. Social media is not the issue. Other people are not the problem. There’s something deeper going on because your feelings reveal a buried emotional wound. Instead of feeling bad about this discovery, see this as an invitation to heal the pain.


About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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