Most of us already know that the things most share on social media is not only the highlights of their lives, but also is often supercharged with filters to make them seem even better. Yet many still fall into the comparison trap, as it’s easy to just keep scrolling through pages of these unrealistic posts, tricking the emotional part of the brain into believing what the logical part of our brain knows to be completely exaggerated.
Let’s take a moment to engage that logical part of the brain, and consider the realistic days of those who seem to have “figured it all out”. I’m talking about those uber successful people that are consistently presented to us across many platforms, and mostly only the good stuff.
What is rarely, sometimes never, shown is all the hard work, bad days, bad choices, mistakes, and negative thoughts that we all have, as it’s part of human nature to experience those ups and downs. Yet most of us pull through this stuff one way or another, and rarely spend too much time talking about it, and reflecting on how we could improve our responses in the future. We mainly do this to avoid the negative and seek out the positive, as that’s a nicer place to exist.
Even those hugely successful people experience these things, and their success is actually quite one dimensional when viewed on its own, but I’m sure we can all agree that it’s not the sum total of their entire lives, and they experience the same ups and downs as everyone else.
Now we’ve reached an approximate agreement using the logical part of the brain, on the fact that everyone has an internal rollercoaster of thoughts, let’s now turn to the emotional part. That part is usually more upfront and immediate in its reactions, which is why it can land us in repeated dismay and despair, or words to that effect, if we don’t have a coping mechanism to deal with it beforehand.
Maybe you already have some strategies when using social media, in terms of limiting your time with it, or muting/blocking people that often cause you negative reactions. If not, then perhaps it’s time to adopt a strategy of some kind. Aside from those already mentioned (Limiting time, Muting/Blocking), here are some other methods you might like to try:-
- The first moment you feel a negative thought enter your head when viewing a social media post, close the app. Despite our best efforts, we’re rarely as good as we think we are at ignoring this stuff, as the subconscious will still be processing it without us realising.
- Delete the app/s from all your electronic devices. Whether this is forever or for limited periods, that’s down to you to work out. If some social media activity is part of your job, then keep yourself strictly to using it for these purposes. There’s always a compromise to be found somewhere. The important thing is to not kid yourself into thinking you’ll not slip back into your previous habits, so hold yourself accountable regularly in order to take control from those subconscious actions.
- Similar to the point above, and a potential compromise, switch off app notification sounds and/or flashes. It’s very possible to choose specifically how you want to be notified about updates on all of your social media accounts, so take control of your time by eliminating the constant interruptions, and only check for updates when it fits into the other activities you may be doing in the real world where life really happens.
As well as everything discussed above, you may be interested in a bit more self-reflection, so I have a short e-book available to help you Be Your Authentic Self and Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are for only £1.99 on Amazon.
Level up your life and own the day.