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    Comparing & Competing: The Downside of Social Media

    Comparison is the thief of joy

    I don’t usually post on Thursdays, but I wanted to be vulnerable and share something today that I’m struggling with. Because if I’m right, I think many of you struggle with it too. In fact, I think we would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t all admit to struggling with this at one point in our lives.
    Comparison is the thief of joy

     

    Comparison. 

    Yup. There, I said it. I woke up this morning and there it was, staring me smack in the face. Part of my morning routine, which I’m a little embarrassed to admit, is checking my social newsfeeds. If I’m perfectly honest, it’s the last thing I check at night and one of the first things I check in the morning. I’ve always said that I have a love/hate relationship with social media and it’s because of THIS VERY THING. But now that my blogs biggest platform is social media in general, I feel like I’m glued to my screen all the time and comparing has become all to easy a thing to do.

    The problem itself isn’t with social media, though The problem is with us…errr…me. We all love sharing. We all love seeing other people’s lives. The problem though becomes when we become dissatisfied with our own lives by comparing it to others. When we think others have it so much better than we do. When we start feeling the need to compete with what we see being projected on social media.

    We’ve all heard it a bunch before that social media is where people share their highlight reel. It’s not that it’s fake, it’s just that it’s our best picture of our day. I’m not taking selfies when I first get out of bed and I’m a hot mess. NO. When do I take a selfie? When I just had my hair done and my make-up did and I’m wearing clean, kid-snot-free outfit! Not my jogging pants! But is that what most of my life looks like? NO. Rather it’s the opposite. But that’s not glamorous and that’s not really what people want to see now is it?!

    Competing Quote

    This morning while cruisin’ my feeds, after a couple weeks of living in sweat pants, hospitals, cleaning barf and other unmentionables off the floors, doing copious amounts of laundry and barely having 5 minutes to myself, I see my friends who are on vacation enjoying the white sandy beaches. I see people who are just falling in love in Paris. I see another blogger who just hit 50,000 followers. I see how someone won a huge amazing prize that I entered to win too, but clearly didn’t. I see friends who are getting way more opportunities then I am at the moment. I see someone share another friend/bloggers post, but they didn’t share MINE! I see all of that. And what do I immediately start doing? Comparing. WHY?! Why do we do that?! There becomes almost this angst in my spirit where I start feeling less-than because I know my life looks nothing like those lives. 

    As I keep staring at someone else’s seemingly more picture-perfect journey than me own, I become ungrateful, annoyed and even jealous. I want to go away on a vacation! I want a big, amazing blog! I want opportunities! I’m working my butt off, why am I not having the same kind of success that they are?! And I become unhappy and discontent.

    So today, as I write this, I’m not writing to say I have all the answer about how to deal with that. But rather, I’m writing to say, we are human and we all deal with this comparison crap. So my prayer today is simply, “Lord, forgive me for comparing and being unsatisfied with the journey you’ve put ME on. Forgive me for not treasuring all the amazing things you have blessed ME with while looking at other peoples blessings and being envious. Help me stop the comparison game and be completely content with where I am planted.”

    The struggle is real folks. But the struggle is not social media itself. The struggle lies within ME. And it’s how I choose to perceive it all and let it affect me where the problem comes in. We shouldn’t be caught comparing and more specifically, competing with other for more popularity, better homes, better jobs, bigger blogs, etc. We should just be thankful for our own journey, focus on what matters most and bloom where we are planted!

    Love & Blessings,

    CMartin-Sign

     

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    40 Comments

  • Reply Jaclyn May 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Oh, man, I have definitely gotten down on myself about the beautiful pictures that others post. For me, it’s more of a realization that I may not have the means or ability to reach some of the goals that they’ve reached (especially with blogging). I try to focus back in on what MY goals are. …and they sure as hell aren’t to get 50,000 blog followers haha. My goal was to educate women about breastfeeding and motivate them to breastfeed and manage motherhood beautifully in their own way. After re-evaluating MY goals, I remember that I don’t need a million dollar home or 50,000 followers to meet my goals. I love your prayer, especially the part about our own, individual journey. 🙂

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      It’s so hard eh? But yes, that’s exactly it…focusing on our own goals. And I do have goals to grow this blog big…but I just need to keep focused on what I’m doing, water it and watch it bloom! I’m glad to have met you through this journey! xox

  • Reply Brooke Knipp May 14, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Well, obviously I agree (says the person from a blog called Bye, Comparison 😉 You said it all so well, and honestly and eloquently. I think part of the answer is to fight against it everyday because the messages that tell us we don’t measure up are flung at us everyday. I also think that by putting words out there (on a blog, for example), and thoughts and opinions and LIFE that says something contrary to the comparison game is a great way to start/continue to strengthen a better, truer, more encouraging message to everyone out there. You may not think you have the answer, but I think you are an important part of it just by being honest here! 🙂 xo

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      You are making me well up Brooke! And yes, I guess this would resonate well with you (which btw, I talk about you daily to my hubby and your blog!) I think that’s what I’m finding resonates with most readers is being honest and going against all those messages we are being told “Have more, be greater, by skinnier, etc.” instead of just enjoy YOUR journey and water what God has given you and you will be surprised at where He leads! xox

  • Reply Holly Housewife May 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I take selfies from the waist up so I can still wear my sweat pants! Hahahaha
    It’s sooooo true. I have the love hate as well.
    I need to refocus and tell myself all the time to stop the comparisons!

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      HOLLY! I’m seriously LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!! That’s SO funny (and kinda genius too!) I think it’s honestly a daily struggle we will always be in as so much of our lives are being lived in front of other people with all these forms of social media. Thanks for stopping by! xox

    • Reply Fox May 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      This is also my strategy. In fact, when I’m not at work basically the only time I leave my sweats is to run to the store, but sometimes not even then… Whoops!

      I think this dislike of comparison is what kept me away from Instagram until fairly recently. (I was on it, disappeared, then came back) It just astounds me how GORGEOUS some people/meals/locations are, and since I usually check IG when I’m at work… Well, you get the idea.

      Thrilled to know that it’s not just me, and that you’ve found a way to sort of make peace with it. I’m working on that, too. 🙂

      • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm

        You are so not alone! I think alot of us feel this way! Glad you can resonate! xox

  • Reply Sarah May 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I love this. I believe we all struggle with this on some level. It can be so hard to not look to your left and right and think “what about me?” I saw this great sermon from Andy Stanley online called “The Comparison Trap.” He talks about how there’s no win in comparison and that we actually need to be looking to God to determine if we’re doing ok – not those around us. After watching his sermon I wrote some notes and posted them above my desk (which were staring back at me as I saw your post). It’s a great reminder: “What or who am I going to use as a reference point to determine if I’m doing alright?” Thank you for posting this and reminding me!

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      I’ve heard of that sermon Sarah! I think now is a great time for me to check it out and give it a goooooooddddd listen! Ha! Thanks for sharing that! And thanks for stopping by! Love having my friends stop by the blog and spread some love! xox

  • Reply Christina @The DIY Mommy May 14, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    YES. So much YES. I often have to pray the same thing. I am so blessed and I want to be thankful for each little moment and stop wanting more. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      My pleasure Christina! And thanks for stopping by (btw, I’m a big fan of yours!) We are so blessed, but when we start looking sideways, it’s so easy to forget about all those blessings isn’t it?! xox

  • Reply Melissa May 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Girlfriend… I just had this conversation with a group of women yesterday at a bible study. What you are doing here on your little piece of the internet is amazing… as are you. I read your blog and absolutely adore sharing a few minutes of my time with a few pieces of your life. It’s real and lovely and has your heart splattered all over it.

    It has taken me years to grow my readership and grow in my writing… hustling my butt from conference to conference. No one saw how I nearly emotionally broke when writing my book. No one can fathom the actual fear you experience when walking into a publisher meeting. No one saw the tears and frustration and anger at God when I had to do the things He asked me to do. No one heard my rants at heaven telling The Lord I couldn’t take one more plane ride ’cause I’m tired- tired- of blowing this trumpet waiting for the walls to come tumbling down. No one knows how many times God has taken me to the woodshed to cut me off at the knees. You know that sustaining success is not overnight success and you’ve done more with your little piece of the internet than most. Sister, there is a line of gals behind you cheering you on… what you’ve got going on here is beautiful… your time will come. And I hope that you go farther than I ever will…

    • Reply Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      MELISSA! You’re making me CRY!!! Love you and thank you for your incredibly kind and supportive words! I’m kinda speechless over here! I know it’s all in God’s timing. I think I just never knew the amount of work: blood, sweat and tears that would go into it. And sometimes, it’s just easier to look at others and wonder why that’s not happening to you and FORGET the favor that the Lord has already bestowed upon me. So thank YOU for YOUR reminder of that. And btw, you’ve been on my list to contact for a few weeks about guest posting! For real…not just because you posted here! Will be in touch! xox

  • Reply Jacynta May 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Christine, I couldn’t co-sign this post enough times! I think that was the biggest reason I let my first blog go down the drain and why I can never find things to write about. Trying to keep up with the “minimalist pixie dream girl” (http://thefinancialdiet.com/the-minimalist-pixie-dream-girl-who-she-is-and-why-i-hate-her/) is tough!
    It’s people like you who help break the mold and offer help to people like me that I am grateful for!

    • Reply Christine May 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      I’m so glad we’ve found each other Jacynta! I just read the whole article out loud to my husband while we are driving and we both died laughing because it’s SO TRUEEEEE!!! Thanks for sharing! And you got this girl! I’m hear, cheering you on!!! xox

  • Reply Emily Pasivirta May 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    This was SO real!!! I think this is something EVERYONE struggles with! Social Media can just amplify it. The prayer at the end was awesome! What a great reminder!! Very encouraging!
    My favourite post yet! 🙂

    • Reply Christine May 15, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Awe thanks Emily! I’m so glad you are reading along and thanks for your sweet comment! Love you girl! xox

  • Reply LiNdsay May 15, 2015 at 7:11 am

    I feel like I could have written this post myself. And the cherry on top is that I’m so terribly self critical it’s sad. My husband gets on my constantly for having my face buried in my phone and I’ve got to make more of an effort to be present and less critical and comparing myself to everyone else that seemingly has a perfect life…

    Great post, I’m going to share it on stumble upon and Twitter because I think everyone could read this.

    Have a great weekend Christine.

    • Reply Christine May 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks so much Lindsay! And I’m right there with you girl. Always in my phone or on my computer and VERY critical! So I get it! It’s hard and I think it will be something we need to constantly be reminding ourselves to work on! xox

  • Reply Randi Sheets May 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Very well said. I think that a lot of us feel that same way. I am constantly in a struggle with myself. But, then my husband kind of keeps me in check with reality. I do have a great life, with great kids, and a blog a blog that isn’t doing too bad. I appreciate that he can bring me back down to earth. I definitely need it sometimes.

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      My hubby tends to be that same balance for me too! So glad we have them in our lives, eh?! Thanks for stopping by Randi! xox

  • Reply Kat | curlsnchard.com May 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I know this struggle too. I often get way too impatient, watch my stats way too close, compare myself to others…it sometimes really takes out the fun and I have to step back and take a deep breath.

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      I know that stats game Kat! And you’re so right, when I start focusing too much on those things, the fun is gone. It’s all about balance and keeping it in perspective! xox

  • Reply Ashlyn May 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Christine,

    Do you mind if I share this on my FB page? You spoke to me and every woman out there in Internet Land!

    I have a friend who deleted all her social media accounts because it made her depressed to see how fabulous everyone else’s lives were and she compared them to her own. It was really sad to hear her reasoning! I remember her saying that she tried to turn off the “comparison switch” but it was hard.

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Hey Ashlyn! Just getting to these now that I’ve returned from our quick holiday. Yes, please share! I’m honored that you want to! I do think it’s a message that we all need to hear and remind ourselves of often. I’ve also had that struggle with wanting off of social media completely but then I remind myself, I need to not put too much stock into what others are all doing and just have fun! xox

  • Reply Jessica May 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    The struggle is SO real! I have had my blog for a little over 2 years and it is just now starting to pick up heat. These past two years I have beaten myself up and literally crying over my blog because I envied what other bloggers were doing that I simply could not do. Sometimes we have to look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are talented. We need to stay focus on making our grass green and not on how the other persons grass is getting greener. I know I tell myself this! The more I do what I love the more confident I get!….this is something I just started to realize. Thanks for sharing, sometimes it feels good to vent.

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing that Jess. You’re right…we need to focus on our own grass! I like that! xox

  • Reply Crystal May 15, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I love this ❤️ Thank you for sharing! I struggle with seeing perfect pictures of polished homes all over, and look at my hot mess. I never want to make others feel that way when they look at my house, so I try to be as real as I can be without over sharing. I’ve started an Instagram hashtag challenge on Sundays called #myhomeIRL, you can join in on the challenge & help us break that idea of sharing picture perfect rooms. ❤️❤️

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Yes! I saw that but I was gone! I’ll have to get in on that another time! Thanks Crystal! xox

  • Reply Jasmine May 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I also check my social media feed every morning. It’s become a morning routine. I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years and its just now getting so many page views, but social media such as facebook/twitter have been such a great help with that.

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Yup! Gotta work all the angles! xox

  • Reply Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 17, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Christine, thanks so much for sharing this. You wrote it also eloquently, and so much better than I ever could. I agree the social media isn’t really the problem but its how we react to it.

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks Justine for your sweet comment! I appreciate that! xox

  • Reply Tricia @ Like I Said Lady May 18, 2015 at 9:42 am

    This is so true! I spend so much time comparing myself to others, and trying to set the same goals, but I have to take a step back and look. My goal is to catalog my life so that my friends who live far away from me can stay updated on what all I am doing. As long as that is happening, then I need to be happy with the success I have, even if it is not as big as others! Thank you! Great post!

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      It is definitely hard when we get caught up in the comparison game. But you’re right, stay focused on your own goals and be happy with what is happening! Sounds like you are doing great! xox

  • Reply Caitlin Cheevers May 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Ugh, I love this post. I’m struggling with this SO BADLY at the moment. I’m bored of my apartment’s living room, and I keep seeing photos of BEAUTIFUL houses on Pinterest and it just makes me feel shitty.
    xo, Caitlin

    • Reply Christine May 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      It’s hard, isn’t it? It’s all about balance and learning to be content with what we have and making the most out of it! Trust me, my house isn’t huge and styled all perfectly…so I focus on the little areas that bring me joy! Hopefully you can too Caitlin! xox

  • Reply Sandra Lynn June 6, 2015 at 9:37 am

    THIS was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thank you 🙂

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