There’s so many pathways in the topic of comparison. In this digital age, it’s easier than ever to compare ourselves with others. This is most unfortunate since we are seeing others put their best perceived selves out there and generally comparing them with our worst selves. Other than Glennon from Momastery, I don’t see a lot of people hanging their baggage out for others to peek and pry into (one of the reasons I love Glennon). It’s photos of vacations, of dates and gifts and perfect kids. Facebook and Instagram are notorious for this. Instagram is only slightly better (in my opinion) because it’s less about the words and more about the photo.
Anjelah of anjelah.com writes this:
I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and how it can affect our spirit. Listen when I tell you that your journey is your own, specially tailored for you and nobody can take that from you. There are so many special gifts along the road waiting for you and only you. When you look at what other people have and start comparing it to what you have, you may start to devalue something that is actually pretty special. It’s special because it’s specifically for you at this point in your life.
I think this is the same for who you are. If we are comparing who we are to what other people do or present to the world that they are we are setting purse up for failure. The beauty of who we are resides in us alone, we cannot find it in another.
In March earlier this year, I decided to take a break from Facebook, indefinitely. It felt momentous at first. What would I be missing out on. Would anybody notice I was gone? Would I miss it?
For me, Facebook had this drug-like quality. I hated it with a passion most of the time (except for the quizzes, loved those things), but I couldn’t stop myself from checking it. It was a boredom trigger. Waiting at school pick-up? just a quick check. A few spare minutes? check. On and on it went. I had taken the app off my phone, but that only hindered me slightly.
Then, I had several ‘friends’ make comments on Facebook that I couldn’t un-hear, do you know what I’m taking about? Snap judgements that people made that felt like judgement passed on me. I’d brood about these comments and be angry or hurt far past an appropriate passing of time. And worst of all, it was damaging those relationships because I now filtered it through the comments they said. I started asking friends, “how does it make you feel?” Nobody, nobody said “it’s life-giving, I feel so connected or isn’t it great?” It was a mixed bag of, “It kind of helps me stay connected,” and “I wish I’d never gone on it, but now I can’t give it up.”
I made the choice to leave Facebook, thinking I might be back soon. But I haven’t gone back, and truthfully, I haven’t missed it much either. It’s not without it’s trade-offs. There are things I miss out on. But, overall I’m a healthier more integrated person because of it. My spirit is lighter and less encumbered. It may not be for everyone, but it has been the right choice for me.
Have you ever taken a break from social media? Why? How has it worked for you? I’d love to hear your experience.