Originally published Thursday, 02 January 2014.
Hello. I am a comparison-addict. I've fallen through the trap of the smoke and mirror magic show called social media.
I don't really know what the cure is. But, we all know the first frazzled step in overcoming an addiction is to admit that we have a problem, right? And this is a big one, though I didn't realize it until a few days ago.
It started off pretty innocently. As most additions do, it began mainly out of curiosity. I wondered how my peers, my ex-boyfriends and their new girlfriends were doing.
Turns out, they're all doing super well.
Like, the better than me kind of well.It really was just supposed to be a fix of Instagram here and there. An admiration of an engagement ring or two.Mindless clicking through wedding photos of complete strangers. New jobs, new business cards, new apartments, new Pinterest-perfect decorations, flowers from boyfriends.
Oh, how nice and lovely for them. I'd think, initially, scrolling through the feed. How lucky am I to have friends and sisters who are doing so well in the world?
It was a genuine, fortified feeling of "rejoicing with those who were rejoicing." I promise.
Then, one by one, my friends, foes and followers seemed to be winning this very loud, look-at-me race. They seem to have it all, and it looks so good (whether it's #filtered or not).
Then it took an ugly turn inward. Within a matter of seconds rejoicing became bickering.
These little lovely firefly pixels of Instagram that lit up my iPhone each morning turned into a swarm of buzzing internet-envy with photo after photo of images that stung my heart and purpose.
It was just an Instagram fix. It wasn't supposed to digitally unravel my entire world and purpose.
My thoughts fly from simmer to boil. Because with every "double tap" on every photo, my thoughts travel from doting to jealous in about .02 seconds flat.
I want to play the game, too. I want to keep up with everyone.
But, honestly, it is so hard to keep up appearances. It's so difficult to trick everyone into thinking that my life is as visually-compelling as everyone else I know.
A day in my life in Instagram photos would not show gourmet meals cooked from scratch, but a small tea towel that I actually set on fire because I stupidly let it rest on the stove eye (#firesafetyfail).
It would show the pizza delivery guy knocking on my door and saying, "Haven't I been here before?" as he realized I had ordered an entire medium pizza for dinner, and that aside from the Gilmore Girls, I was completely alone (#dinnerforone).
It would show me being late to work, a run in my tights and lukewarm coffee as my only accessory. It would show missed deadlines, arguments in the car, frequently-missed prayer time and a dwindling bank account (#hotmess).
I am Insta-flawed.
The internet is doing a marvelous job of tricking the world into thinking we have it all together. And lately, it's becoming increasingly harder to understand what is really important and genuine through all the comparison project we're all in the midst of. It's hard to capture a true vision of the word through all of our filters.
I need to break my addiction. The cycle has to stop now. Maybe if we were all a little more open about our flaws, we'd be able to stop feeling the incessant need to keep up our appearances.
Until then, take me out of the running. I have some internet detoxing to do.
photo credit: maaco via photopin cc
photo credit: ilmungo via photopin cc