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Why you shouldn't compare yourself to other people

Updated on May 31, 2016

Social comparison and how it can be harmful

Humans naturally compare themselves to others to ensure that they are following the status quo, or if they are living up to their full potential. Social comparison is a way for people to better themselves and follow the positive examples of others, which can lead to overall improvement. However, social media has opened up Pandora's box. Social media users naturally only present the best version of themselves, which are oftentimes unrealistic depictions that are far from reality. Comparing yourself to Instagram models is a fruitless and unnecessary activity that can decrease your self-esteem and cause you to focus on trivial aspects of yourself and others that do not define who you are


Why you shouldn't compare yourself to ANYONE on Instagram

1. Editing Applications
This point is a no brainer and acknowledged by every user, yet people have trouble rationalizing this during social comparison on social media. Editing applications are used by almost all users in order to enhance their physical appearance. When you come across a profile that seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Girls are able to make their bodies tinier or curvier and enhance the appearance of their faces through these applications. Half of the time the image you are viewing has been altered.

2. You have no idea what these people are like in real life
Heck, their social media platform makes them out as if they lead the most perfect life. It needs to be realized that people on Instagram only show what they want you to see. They aren't going to reveal their shitty grades, awful personality, unemployment, and relationship issues because it is not flattering and doesn't present the most ideal aspects of their lives.

3. It detracts from your own success
If you are constantly comparing your physical appearance to an Instagram user you are wasting your time and cheating yourself. Instead of comparing yourself to an ideal that only exists online, you could be at the gym, spending time with people in the REAL WORLD, enhancing your education or career, or twiddling your damn thumbs for goodness sake. Trust me, any activity is better than comparing yourself to an unobtainable ideal.

4. Decreases your confidence.
Comparing yourself to Instagram models is an exhausting process. By the end of it, you hate yourself, you are self-conscious, you are questioning your appearance and lifestyle, and doubting your self-worth.

5. Instead of doubting yourself, IMPROVE YOURSELF
The time spent comparing yourself to Instagram models could instead be spent improving yourself. The hours spent lurking through random pages (although we are all guilty of this) does nothing to make you a better or enviable person. You are more likely to turn out bitter and jealous than improved.

6. Compare yourself to real people with respectable ambitions
Instead of comparing yourself to people who are physically attractive you should compare yourself to intelligent people who have good careers and improve the world on a grander scale. Looks only go so far and fade. Ambition and intelligence only increase and are far more attractive than a lucrative Instagram feed. Compare yourself to lawyers, CEO's, human rights activists, and public servants and seek to emulate them, not Kylie Jenner.

She's very pretty, but not perfect as she tries to make herself seem.
She's very pretty, but not perfect as she tries to make herself seem. | Source

My final thoughts

My advice is to work on yourself in more abstract ways than your physical appearance. Strive to have the best relationships, best job, the best outlook on life, a loving and accepting personality, and try to touch every person you meet in a positive way. Make an impact on someones life not through your physical appearance and lavish life-style, but through what you offer the world and how you seek the better it. I guarantee the gratification you will receive from living honestly and morally outweighs the gratification you receive from having the best Instagram feed.
There is nothing wrong with taking selfies, editing your pictures, and representing the best version of yourself on social media. There is a problem when you let this define you and dictate your self-worth. Instead, let your concrete achievements in REALITY mean the most to what comprises you as a special and unique human being. The moral of this blog is to love yourself and not to demean yourself by trying to live up to unrealistic representations that detract from what are amazing individual you are.


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    • MissKrisCayllie profile image

      MissKrisCayllie 22 months ago from Jersey Shore

      Love the picture. Great representation of what people struggle with everyday. This day in age its so easy to be insecure about yourself when pictures are constantly being posted on social media.

    • atpareek profile image

      Ashutosh Pareek 22 months ago

      That ice cream image was good...

    • Mxdeleinee profile image

      Mxdeleinee 23 months ago

      Yeah I agree with you. Always good to make sure you are extra private or do a good clean up your image. People trying to emulate those partying and lavish behaviours they see on social media and try to show off end up hurting themselves in the long run

    • profile image

      Happy Man 23 months ago

      Great article

      One troubling thing I will say as I am in the tec field my whole life and have started, owned sold companies since my 20s and mentored entrepreneurs.

      The troubling part that people and youth don't bloody realize hence why youth unemployment has reached 30 plus percent in some cities including TO.

      All employers do there due diligence when they short list resumes through social media. That's why a lot of people no matter how good the resume is or the interview goes never get an offer.

      It's not right but that's how companies use social media for HR decisions.

      They can tell a tonne on lifestyle, work ethic (yes worth ethic, judging from how many times you post and time stamps) party lifestyles hobbies and political leanings.

      I know awful, but social media has become the real CV that won't go away.

      But your right it's kind of like repositioning and putting thought into things social before you do it.