How to Avoid the Social Media Comparison Trap

Scrolling through our Twitter timeline or Instagram dashboard has become second-nature to us, much like the air we breathe. It’s instinctual to take that quick glance down at your home screen while waiting to cross the street. It’s an everyday occurrence to open the Instagram app while waiting for class to start. It’s a part of our night-time routine to check each social media platform before we fall asleep, assuring we didn’t miss out on anything during the day.


Although social media has brought our society so many great things, it has also left its users in a constant state of insecurity and comparison.


“Why isn’t my relationship that perfect?”


“Why doesn’t my skin look that good?”


“Why do they get to travel the world while I’m stuck going to work or school?”


Nobody has the answers on how to avoid self-doubt stemming from social media– I still battle with it constantly, so I won’t pretend like I have some anti-insecurity secret formula. What I can offer, however, is a collection of thoughts I run through whenever I’m not feeling as confident as I should.


Always remember, the number of followers you have and the number of likes you receive doesn’t dictate your character. However silly it may seem, everyone feels a flicker of disappointment when a picture doesn’t reach a certain amount of likes. Everyone checks up on their number of followers, wondering why it has gone down. Don’t let that number define you. Internally, if you know you’re a good person, that’s all that matters.


Remind yourself that social media, Instagram in particular, is someone’s highlight reel. It’s a collection of their happiest moments, the moments where they look and feel the best; nobody’s life is that put-together and aesthetically pleasing 100% of the time. You never know what is going on behind-the-scenes in someone’s life, so don’t become discouraged over a fabricated image someone is trying to emanate.


Unfollow accounts that make you feel negative about yourself. Post for yourself, not because you think it’s what others want to see. Take a social media vacation and assess what aspects are toxic to your self-confidence.


Above all, at the end of the day, realize that there’s only one you. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. We’re all worth so much more than the snapshots of our life that we post on social media.



Shannon Angel is studying at the University of Alabama and is doing an internship this semester at GirlSpring.

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