Death by Comparison and Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life 

I still have Twitter. I still use Twitter. I can’t stop using Twitter. It’s one of the cruelest places you can exist on the internet. It’s a place where everyone is trying to be funny and no one is above punching up down or sideways. If you have an opinion there is some there to tell you it is wrong.

I am luckily not funny enough to have a large following and not controversial enough to be trolled daily (have been trolled before, feels bad) 

The trouble I run into on Twitter are the innocuous ‘I have some news’ tweets. The ones where people humblebrag about their good news. Although intentions aren’t nefarious and these people should be sharing their amazing news, one can’t help but feel alienated by a stranger’s success. I read a tweet the other day that said ‘Baby’s first magazine cover!’ and thought to myself ‘Damn, I haven’t reached that milestone yet.” Like what? As if that is a totally normal milestone most people achieve?

I quit Instagram for many reasons- it made me shop, it made me stare at photoshopped images of perfect women, it made me feel like my life just wasn’t worthy enough. This is a trend. 

‘Empirical evidence has been found regarding the positive relationship between social media use and social comparison. For instance, de Vries and Kühne (2015) conducted a survey study among young adults in the Netherlands, and demonstrated that higher intensity of Facebook use was associated with more social comparison. A similar relationship was also found in a study of Instagram, demonstrating that social media can predict individual differences in social comparison orientation and behavior (Stapleton et al., 2017). A systematic review of social media use in health care showed that patients use social media to compare themselves with other patients to find out how “bad” their health conditions are and how well the treatments work (Smailhodzic et al., 2016).’ – The Effects of Instagram Use, Social Comparison, and Self-Esteem on Social Anxiety: A Survey Study in Singapore

“If Facebook demonstrates that everyone is boring and Twitter proves that everyone is awful, Instagram makes you worry that everyone is perfect — except you.” – Alex Hern, The Guardian 

Self comparison is bad for a lot of reasons- it doesn’t actually help you achieve more, it ruins your sense of self and you’re usually using inaccurate information (edited selfies, celebratory tweets that don’t mention the 10 years of failure prior)

It’s hard to feel motivated in a Pandemic and it’s even harder to feel satisfied. Other people’s lives seem so together. Other people seem to be handling things properly.

I have found that self comparison stops tenfold when I’m away from social media. When I spend time with people I am not on my phone. I stay away from Twitter and the time away is a welcome reprieve. The smartest people I know do not use that site. When you aren’t inundated with what everyone else is doing, it’s incredible how fast your own self esteem starts to heal. When you look at your life it doesn’t seem quite so inadequate. 

Is it weak to admit that you’re vulnerable to these little deaths by comparison? Maybe yes. But maybe there is some strength in knowing what you need to fix and setting to work to fix it. Social media isn’t going anywhere. People have whole careers on these platforms. You can either take part and feel bad or disassociate and step back. I am always for healthy social media breaks and for testing my own mettle to see what I am capable of. What little challenges I can overcome and I often surprise myself. 

I’ve never read an article or watched a video where a person takes a social media break and doesn’t feel better at the end of it. Have you? 

We aren’t supposed to be privy to this many people’s thoughts and opinions. We aren’t supposed to be this influenced by this many strangers. 

So I invite you to take a break. I am going to be. I use Twitter every single day and it’s the first thing I do when I wake up. This cannot be healthy. I am going to take a break from Twitter and from being influenced by other people.

Shifting the focus back to you and your life. 

Here are the things I’ll be doing instead. 

Working out

When I’m sad I workout about it. It takes time and energy and you only leave it feeling good. 

Reading News Not on The App

I caved and got a subscription to the New York Times. I read once that the NYT has a higher reading level than most other print journalism so maybe this will make me smarter too? 

Hikes in The Woods

In Toronto the weather is getting warmer and a podcast on my hike in the woods is one of the best feelings. Have you listened to Con Queen? It’s on spotify. Absolutely fascinating stuff. 

Getting a Job

LOL the time has come to get some little email job to occupy my brain and hands with so I don’t just think and consume social media all day. 

Movie Watching 

I just watched Jackie Brown for the first time the other day and wow. It feels shameful to have lived 33 years without seeing it. 

Stretching

If I spent as much time stretching as I do reading tweets about Donald Trump I would be a bendy beautiful goddess. Stretching feels good. 

Learning about Money 

I am a GIRLBOSS who is in Ketosis and DEBT. Time to get my act together. Time to understand what in god’s name a mutual fund is.

Seeing Friends 

This is the number one best way to feel good about life. To get off that damn phone and remember why you’re alive. Hangout with the friends who see you for you and love you for it. Listen to their jokes and their accomplishments and feel yourself feel happy for them. It helps.

Practicing Gratitude

Are you warm right now? Have you had any coffee? Try to remember how insanely lucky you are for the life you do have even if you don’t have a massive Kim Kardashian dump truck ass.

Life is hard enough, let us take a break from the things that make it even worse.

What are some of your tips for dealing with social comparison? Let me know below.

Supplements I use to Help With The Soul Crushing Anxiety Of Being Alive During A Pandemic

Hello my little apple pies cooling in a window. 

Welcome back to my blog. Whether you’re here for a hate read or a love read, I am happy to see you. 

Today I wanted to chat a bit about Supplements. Specifically the supplements that I use to cope with a little thing called PMDD which has been made worse due to the pandemic. 

 ‘PMDD causes severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two before your period starts. Symptoms usually go away two to three days after your period starts.’

I have this little issue and have had since my early 20’s. Every month 11 days before my period I turn into a small but dangerous werewolf. The condition causes me to react to my shifting hormones in ways that feel utterly out of my control. There’s treatments for this but they are generally birth control (pass) or anti-depressants, which would be fine but I am happy and thriving the rest of the time so it wouldn’t make sense. 

Every month I prepare for these 11 days (referred to the Luteal Phase) like I am going to war. I have to change my diet, up my exercise, plan creative projects or tasks around this time. I am incapable of productivity. I sit and stare and cry and panic. Historically all of the worst fights I’ve ever had with boyfriends are during this fateful 11 days.

Back before the Pandy, I was a living breathing person who worked full time, went to the gym, attended university part-time, had a huge group of friends and was just overall happy and distracted. This has obviously changed. Now I am at home, that’s it. Just sittin’ around at home, thinking.

The pandemic has done a number on our collective mental health. Isolation, junior chickens, netflix, online shopping, existential crises, loneliness, fear of dying are all ever present shifting considerations throughout each day.  Generally I am happy and rational and functional but for 11 days every month, it gets dark. I get extremely anxious. I get paranoid, I get profoundly depressed and no amount of exercise, salmon, positive thinking or hugs can make me feel better. I have however, found some supplemental things to slow the grinding gears of the walls that feel as if they are closing in on me.

Now let me start by saying that I am straight up not a doctor, not even close. I am an out of work actor, so really don’t take my advice on this and especially don’t sue me if you do and it doesn’t work out.

Ok with that disclaimer dutifully dispensed, here are the supplements I use to cope.

The inexplicable smoke means it’s working!

Natural Calm

A magnesium based supplement. I can’t tell if this stuff actually works or if I just think it does and that calms me down. I used to drink it at work while serving on busy days. It helps with racing thoughts and pounding heartbeat, it reintroduces chill when you have functioning with below zero.

Traditionally you would share this in a gourd with pals and loved ones, but that’s a good way to get Covid now.

Yerba Mate

This is an old favorite and yes it is caffeine which is BAD, but for whatever reason, the stimulant in it gives me a rise without a fall. I am perked up without the gigantic coffee-dooms I get from too many cups.

The greener the leaf, the less of a colossal bitch you’ll be!

Matcha

I am simply a better person when I am drinking this. It’s messy, its hard to make, it’s expensive but it makes me ….euphoric. I usually switch out coffee 8-10 days before my period with Matcha and it helps. I dance more, that’s the most important thing right.

This one is called ‘Boost’ but for me it’s more like ‘Melt’

CBD Oil

Discovered this after a tricky breakup when I couldn’t really sleep or calm down. I tried smoking actual weed but it makes me a total fucking weirdo. CBD oil is cheap, effective and also great for cramps.

“Not for Human Consumption”

Kratom

Ok this is technically illegal. The bag literally says ‘not for human consumption’ so I am indeed a bad girl but …goddamn. You have to be careful with it, people use this to get off heroin. Do some research and really sniff it out before you take the plunge. When I take it it affects me like adderall. It eradicts my (dangerously) high emotions so I can focus on tasks at hand. I feel like a robot when I use it and sometimes that is exactly what I need.

It was not my intention to take a photo that resembles a vagina

Maca

Ancient, mysterious. I don’t understand this stuff or what it does but when I put it in a coffee or smoothie it makes me feel sexy? I don’t know why. It’s energizing.

Exercise, yoga, meditation help too.

I’ve found the anxiety has lessened since I deleted Instagram and the weather is getting better. We’re still deep into the Pandy but any little bit of anything definitely helps and these little supplements help me. Hopefully if you decide to use them they work for you too. 

Are you dealing with anxiety? Have any coping mechanisms? Share them with me below. Any advice is more than welcome. 

That’s it for me sweet sirs. I am off to walk my bike to the boardwalk for a ride because I don’t have a helmet and am too afraid of biking on Toronto city streets. 

See you soon, 

xo