Maybe you just received a test grade and it disappointed you even after all those hard all-nighters. Or maybe you got rejected from your first choice college. Perhaps you had a hard time with one of your friends, or you could just be generally upset about everything happening in your life at the moment. As you open up Facebook, you are suddenly flooded with happy statuses about how awesome your friend’s boyfriend is or pictures of your friends getting accepted to their first choice schools. It quickly seems that your friends are living a life that you’d absolutely die for.
What about me? You might wonder as you scroll down your newsfeed. Don’t I deserve an awesome life too?
It’s Okay to have A Bad Day
Your Facebook feed may not say so, but it’s normal to have a bad day. Life is not all about sunshine and rainbows, but a lot of people on social media create an impression that their life is wonderful. When you open your social media platform, there’s always this person whose life is so impressive that you wish you could write a complaint letter to God about why he or she got all the good things. It could be money, looks, fame, intelligence, friendship, family or even something as trivial as food! When you have a bad day, the grass (and every Facebook status) on the other side seems so much greener. But spending your time on social media and comparing your life with others is a waste of time and energy.
Why does she have to be the one that got into X college/graduate school? Why does she have a seemingly hot, kind, caring, sensitive, loving boyfriend but I don’t? Why is she the lucky one who gets that chocolate fudge brownie? Why does she have to look so attractive in the pictures she uploaded?
Everything is Filtered
Just remember this: everything in social media is filtered, just like most pictures on Instagram. Many social media users seek validation from their peers and most of us are afraid of our weaknesses and flaws. People want to be accepted, or win in the game of depicting the perception of a great life. But why, for example, do photo editing apps and programs even exist? They create an image of us that is sometimes far from reality. It’s easy to feel envious of others when all you see is the false representation people put out there about themselves.
So what to do? Instead of rushing to the decision of deactivating your Facebook, try to acknowledge that everything you see might not be what it seems. Your friend seems to have such a wonderful, awesome life, but it is guaranteed that she has her own problems. That guy who you thought is sweet and kind on social media may be the opposite in reality. What you see is just an image. You know those funny mirrors that distort your reflection? Think of social media that way. When in doubt, try to avoid social media all together when you are upset. Use that time to calm down and remember that everything is not what it seems, especially on social media.
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