We’ve all done it. Spent mindless hours on our smart phones, tablets and computers on one form or another of social media. We succumb to the mindless scrolling into other people’s lives, sometimes out of curiosity and often out of sheer boredom. This small thing quickly becomes a habitual routine that leads to the dark, incredulous path of comparison.
When did she get that new car? Does her job pay more than mine? Will I ever get promoted to a position like hers? How many bedrooms does their new house have? How does she get so many likes on her pictures? Why don’t I get as many likes? Why does everyone seem to like her? How does she always dress so well? Where does she get her clothes? How long has that couple been together? Will I ever be in a relationship that lasts as long as theirs? Is that another baby picture? How can I think about babies when I don’t even have a boyfriend?
And on and on and on it goes……
The comparison game, as I like to call it, is a terrible path to travel down. Getting so caught up in other people’s lives can cause you to lose sight of your own. Your mind gets caught up in the so-called perfection and grandeur of the person’s life next to you that you start to miss out on all the good things and people in your own life.
As a twenty something living in the twenty first century, I’d say it’s easier to get caught in comparison nowadays more than ever. When my parents were my age, they didn’t have Facebook or Instagram to know the whereabouts of every old friend, distant relative and ex- significant other. With social media presenting an open door into people’s lives near and far, people who you would probably otherwise have no contact with, it becomes not only easy but accepted to judge the lives of others’ next to our own.
What does it leave you with?
My first thought would be nothing, but that’s too easy. The trap with comparison is that it leaves you feeling discontent with your own life. It robs you of the joy and peace that comes from being content in who you are, where you are and what you have been given. It robs you of the passion to walk your own path, the path that is yours and yours alone, the path that is distinctly marked out for you, the path that only you can walk.
Twenty Something Lesson (for Anybody)
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
Here’s what I have learned: Each of us are individuals. We walk distinct paths. Whether you believe in God or not, you have to at least agree that we each have our own unique destiny. There’s a reason my fingerprint is different from yours and vice versa. It is the magic and beauty of being you. When you get caught up in comparison, you lose sight of who you are and who you were created to be.
No one on this Earth can look, talk, think or act exactly like you. YOU ARE A GIFT! Don’t let comparison rob you of the joy of the gift that is you. So next time the idleness or curiosity of social media creeps up and you are tempted to delve in to the lives of other people, shut your phone off. Delete that social media app for a few days or weeks. Unfollow that person who you are struggling with comparing yourself to. Do whatever you need to do to keep your focus on being content with you are. I can guarantee the more you focus on the race you are running versus others’, you will find freedom in just being you.