Instagram, Pinterest, and the Comparison Game

I’ve always struggled with the comparison game. Going as far back as childhood I remember being this way. I would compare myself to people on tv, in magazines, but mostly to my friends and classmates. I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve heard from my mother that it’s not good to compare yourself to others, and yet, to this day I’ve never stopped. And unlike in my childhood, now the element of social media is involved.

Comparison and Social Media

Don’t get me wrong, I think social media can be great. People can grow their businesses, people meet or reconnect with friends, and some people just use it for fun. But there’s definitely a dark side to social media and the effects it can have on people’s self-esteem. 

Whatever you’re insecure about, be it your fitness level, the amount of money you have, the way your home looks, the way you dress, whatever, you’ll find tons of people on Instagram to compare yourself to. As I mentioned, social media can be absolutely great, but it does sometimes set unrealistic expectations. You see a beautiful, seemingly perfect photo and compare yourself or your photos to it. But you don’t see the “behind the gram”. Maybe the person took 4 hours to set up the shoot and photograph it, and then maybe they spent a couple more hours going through all the shots and editing the perfect one. I know I don’t have that kind of time, you probably don’t either, so I do the best with what I have.

I’ll agonize over what to post. What is going to grow my following? What fits with the rest of my feed? When I break it down like this, it all sounds pretty silly. I mean, how many other things in this world are way more important than Instagram? Yet I think a lot of us do this.

 

It's so easy to fall into the trap of comparison especially with social media. There are ways to change your mindset to not let comparison keep you from success.

 

Lately this blog is where I’ve been spending a lot of my free time and putting my efforts into, so of course comparison has come in here too. Pinterest has been a major source of this. Seeing all the pins of how people made money in their first month of blogging or how they got so many more page views than I did. It gets hard. You question what you’re doing and why you’re not good enough. I felt like I was doing all the things I was supposed to, so why didn’t I get the results?

Honestly, sometimes it’s just luck. 

This isn’t just with blogging. It can be with anything. Sometimes people just do the right thing at the right time and lightening strikes. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is trying to compare yourself to this.

So what do you do?

Instagram, Pinterest, and other blogs are great places to draw inspiration, but when the comparison starts creeping in, don’t wallow in it. Stop yourself. Get up and take a walk. Give yourself a manicure. Pick an activity that’s more active or self-care. This will help lift your mood more than starting your next Netflix binge.

Sometimes you have to try to step outside of yourself to break the comparison cycle, at least right now. If Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, or whatever is bringing on the comparison trouble, take a break from them for a while. Whether it be an hour, a day, or a year, take the time you need to mentally and emotionally reset. I know we all want to be successful in whatever we’re trying to do, but if we think everyone else is better than us, how will we ever succeed?

 

How do you handle the comparison moments? Let me know in the comments. 

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Hi! I'm Emily and welcome to the blog! I love to share effortless style and beauty, home decor, and travel ideas. Head to the About page to learn even more!

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7 Comments

  1. 7.11.18
    Amy said:

    I could not agree with you more, social media is great in so many ways but it can really trick you into feeling like you aren’t good enough. When I feel it happening, I like to leave my phone/laptop in one room and go and do something in another room just to ‘reset’ my brain. I feel like doing this helps to break that cycle of endless scrolling and comparing

    • 7.11.18
      Emily said:

      Yes that’s a great idea! I try to stay off my phone most of the evening, but I haven’t managed to break up with my laptop. Lol.

  2. 7.11.18

    Great article! I blog for fun so I try really hard not to compare. No matter how pretty a picture one paints, everyone has struggles.

    • 7.11.18
      Emily said:

      Thank you! And yes, definitely. Its always important to keep that in mind.

  3. 7.11.18
    Valerie said:

    Such an important post! I’m definitely guilty of comparing myself to others, whether it’s with blogging or just everyday life. It can definitely be hard to step away from things and just realize that what we see on the internet/social media may not be as great or easy as it seems.

    I always try to remind myself that we all have to start somewhere. One of my favorite quotes when it comes to comparison is “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone’s chapter 20.”

    • 7.11.18
      Emily said:

      That’s a great quote! I think it is easy to compare yourself to someone who’s been working at something longer. Definitely good to keep this in mind!