I remember a couple of years ago around the holidays I deleted all my social media connections. At this time I was already depressed and after being online for only 15 minutes I was feeling even worse. Viewing all the loving photos from my friends and their families. The abundance of presents and big home cooked feasts. I didn’t want to see all the joyfulness of others. It’s not that I was being a hater (maybe I was..alil bit) but I already was in a bad place so seeing people in an utter bliss of holiday spirits was not making me feel any better. My rationale mind didn’t take into consideration that the couple that I see posting pictures has been arguing the entire year and are on the verge of breaking up, or that my other Facebook friend that posted 1000 gifts for her two year old son maxed out all of her credits cards to show those gifts off.
Have you ever felt like this?
I find myself talking about this with my friends and students a lot recently. I call them the Social Media Blues. This is when you go onto one of your social media accounts and begin to compare your life to someone else’s. You then feel some type of way, and may even become depressed. I think we all do this to a certain extent. We scroll through our timelines and come across that one Facebook friend that always posts pictures of her perfect life. It’s natural to become envious when you run across a person that has what you want. But once we take those feelings to the next level where we check their page religiously, begin to question ourselves, dwell on our failures and shortcomings and become jealous and resentful of what they have…that’s when we are doing ourselves a disservice.
We really have to stop this mess. Stop comparing our lives, bodies, men, families, clothes, etc. Being a black woman living in America is stressful enough as it is. We can’t afford the unneeded stress. First of all if someone does have a better life than you, supposedly, what does it matter? Who cares? All of that energy we put into comparing our lives to someone’s through social media accounts, we could put that energy into bettering ourselves. Instead of dwelling on what we can’t change, focus on what we can. Secondly, we have to remember we are only privy to what people are willing to show us. It’s just as if someone was telling you their side of the story. Of course they’re going to leave out the actions they did that were wrong. They’re going to tell the story to make them look the best. The same with social media. We do not know what that person has to go through to maintain a certain lifestyle or relationship or whatever, so it’s time to stop judging a book by its cover and begin focusing that energy on ourselves.