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One Good Thing - Social media a thief of joy

Social media is both a blessing and a curse, wrapped up into one conflicting little package. 

On one hand, it gives all who use it an easier way of keeping connected to family who may no longer reside close to them. It closes gaps and brings people closer together in ways that simple phone calls or yearly visits never could.

You see glimpses into the lives of those you are friends with, but sometimes people forget the pictures and posts they see are exactly that: glimpses. The less idealistic sides of life aren’t usually posted, no one wants to share photos of their blemished skin or messy humid-frizzed hair, not even of their “Nailed It!” worthy omelet they made that morning. No one posts about the mediocre things in their life, because that’s not interesting.

You might see them posting glamour shots and pictures of incredible trips, but their day-to-day life can be so vastly different – it probably doesn’t differ much from your own, in that they have the “same old, same old” days like everyone else. 

Without being directly involved in their day-to-day personally, you don’t see those aspects. Social media does an excellent job at allowing people to share fragments of their days with their loved ones and acquaintances, but it does little to quell the adage “comparison is the thief of joy.”

When you see what great things someone is doing, it’s easy to fall into a negative mindset about where you are in your own life and wish that you had the glitz and excitement you see in the photos. What is going unnoticed, however, is that your life is entirely individual from what you’re shown. No one’s life is without blemish or doldrums. It isn’t infinitely flawless and exciting all the time – no matter how many perfect photos they post. That’s just all you see, because that’s all that’s interesting for people to share. It’s never a transparent and honest reflection of someone’s life and it’s crucially important that more people understand that.

Personally, I find myself on social media less and less. I have been trying to avoid it on weekends as best I can, and I always feel a lot better when I’ve frequented it less on those days. I would like to pare it down even more, but there are some things I really appreciate on there – like infinite cat pictures.

The mental toll of seeing influencers and the picture-perfect environment many purport on social media is heavy, even if you realize reality and shared media are entirely different. For these reasons – and many more, such as the endless bickering that takes place, I try to kind of keep to myself and hope to distance myself even further from social media as time goes on. 

There’s something to be said about enjoying your own life and not comparing your own accomplishments to those of others – your victories are still just as important, no matter how small.

Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.