In this day and age, it seems everyone has a technological device. Even kids as young as six years old can be seen on their iPads or tablets or smart phones, constantly updating their own Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook accounts. With such a prominent social media presence, there is often a lot of pressure to keep up. I know that my friends and I are certainly guilty of being on our phones incessantly, either checking our accounts to see what our peers are up to, or posting our own pictures and statuses.
On social media, people post pictures of themselves doing fun and exciting things, activities and news they want to share with their friends. Although informative and fun, because this flow of information is never-ending, it can easily become overwhelming. And too often, we tend to compare our own lives to the lives that we see other people living through social media, causing us to be less focused on our own reality.
It becomes easy to forget – or even ignore – that everything on social media is purposefully posted; people want to make sure they look good in their photos, that people see all the fun places they are going, etc. Facebook and Instagram mostly show the highlights of a person’s life, creating merely an image that someone has created of themselves.
Unfortunately, this leads us to compare ourselves with others. We see pictures of our peers traveling to different countries or meeting celebrities, and we wonder “Why can’t I do the same things?” Sometimes we assume that everyone else is always happy, always out doing exciting things. And because our lives do not mimic those portrayed on social media, we become unhappy with our own lives.
Although comparison to others cannot be easily avoided, our tech devices can. I know that personally, it can be a huge shock to turn my phone off or let it lie facedown on silent for a while. For the first few minutes my phone is not glued to my hand, I feel left out; I feel as though I am missing out on a slough of need-to-know information. But as time goes by, I feel freer, much more open to my actual surroundings. I am able to spend real time with my family and friends, and I notice and learn so much more about reality.