Comparison is the Thief of Joy

We live in a world dominated by social media and there are currently over 42 million users in the UK alone. When I was younger the only social media sites that I can remember were Myspace and Bebo, however there was no good internet on mobiles (unless you class waiting 5 minutes for a single website to load). You couldn’t upload any photo online within a few clicks and seconds later it would be on the internet for the whole world to view, however it’s now become normal to be able to post tweets and photos onto Instagram instantly and this little thing called ‘likes’ has become a very big deal.On a daily basis I see people complaining on Twitter about the Instagram algorithm, or YouTube not sending videos to all subscribers subscription boxes. Don’t get me wrong I completely agree, it’s frustrating working hard on something that other people have subscribed to see, however the algorithms have decided for whatever reason they don’t want to show the content. The issue I have is how upset others get about these problems, and it’s worrying. I often see people doubting themselves and the content they create, however it’s not their fault. The problem is that the huge companies such as Instagram and YouTube are in charge, and in some cases it feels like they’re trying to make you pay for advertisements in order to be seen by your audience.Using Instagram as an example, those ‘promote your post and reach an audience of X amount’ posts pop up on a daily basis. Generally the audience reach is the same as my actual audience, shouldn’t I be reaching that audience anyway? Is it a coincidence? Possibly, but I feel that it’s happening to too many of us for that to be the case. If I’m being completely honest I’m starting to get fed up of others saying ‘create better content’ as we are no longer in control of who sees our content, it’s now more than just creating good content. We all put in a lot of effort to create good content so I do understand how it can be disheartening, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel disheartened at times. Ultimately, likes and the amount of social interactions you gain do not define you or the quality of the content you produce. When you worry too much about the algorithms and what time to post, you end up not loving the content you produce and this can make you feel down and unmotivated.It’s not just ourselves who self-validate based on the likes and followers we have on social media but also those around us, especially in the blogging world. I do sometimes feel disheartened by social media and the ever changing algorithms like so many other people and in all honestly, it annoys me that I let something so insignificant effect me. This has been quite a rambly post, but I guess the point that I’m leading to is to not feel alone in both your feelings around your content and frustration at the algorithms. The majority of us are going through the same issues however sometimes it can feel like it’s just your posts that aren’t being shown because they’re ‘not good enough’, and I personally find it comforting to know I’m not the only one. There are a few things that are helping me at the moment with this so I wanted to share them with you:

  • Stop comparing yourself – Ever heard of the saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy’? Well it’s very true! We are all different and no matter how perfect someone’s life is portrayed on social media, it’s most likely not the whole truth. It’s normal to have bad days and when it comes to issues such as mental health, it’s an invisible illness. That person who looks like they have everything together and is smiling in all their photos, they might be silently suffering. We generally share the best bits of our life, the highlights on social media so remember that others are doing the same.
  • Support others & be happy for them – Unfortunately, some people just can’t be happy for you. Lighting someone else’s candle will not blow out your flame, there’s room for everyone to succeed and be happy in life. You know that warm fuzzy feeling when others are supporting you? Share that fuzzy feeling with someone else by supporting them.
  • Chasing the dream life on Instagram – This doesn’t exist. I know it may seem that some people have immaculate lives however I highly doubt that this is the case, remember that Instagram generally is the highlight reel of life that only showcases the best bits. Let’s also not forget that editing has become more common than ever, and I’m not talking about just changing the lighting and contrast on a photo.
  • Think about who you follow – Who you follow on your social media accounts and what they post can have a huge  impact. It got to a point where I was so fed up of seeing drama after drama that I ended up unfollowing those who were fuelling it. Now my timelines are all filled with amazing, supportive and inspiration people.
  • Don’t stop posting content – If you’re feeling unhappy and disheartened with your content it’s okay to take a little break, but please don’t stop posting! Yes the algorithms might make it harder for your content to be seen, but those who manage to view your content will appreciate that you have posted and will be able to enjoy it.

Self-worth comes from so much more than likes and followers which are essentially just numbers. I hope that some of these tips help and I would love for you to share your tips if you have any in the comments!

Rebecca x

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