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.

5 Steps To Make A Simple Skincare Routine Feel More Luxurious

We all know that spending a large sum on a little skincare treat often feels like a big warm hug on a rainy day. This feeling is precisely why the skincare industry is thriving. Skin is in and the trend is not going anywhere. 

When so much of our lives feel out of control, taking our makeup off at the end of the day and luxuriating in the skincare routine thereafter can really feel like a true joy. 

I am a person who is wholly a victim to my environment. I need things to feel pleasing and look pleasing and for this reason an expensive and elaborate skincare routine can really feel like pampering.

However I’ve tried tons of products and always come back to the simplest and most effective routine for me. Though it’s not luxury, there are small things you can do to get excited for your drugstore skincare routine. 

Repot 

This is the single most important trick I use to take the experience of my drugstore skincare routine from austere to opulent. You can find vintage or modern glass screw top jars on etsy or amazon. 

We all know that the right packaging for your products ups the experience tenfold so why not take your boring plastic Cerave Bottle and repot into a nice jar. Just be sure it’s airtight and washable. 

Change the Lighting 

Yes you live in a small and shabby apartment but there are plenty of tricks to make your bathroom feel like a spa. A small salt lamp nightlight can change your entire shower and skincare experience. The pink glow is cozy and the salt lamp itself has healing properties. 

Organize your bathroom

Nothing feels expensive or luxurious in clutter. Declutter your unused makeup, toiletries, cleaners and skincare. Simplify your space and your routine will feel more lavish.

Be Discerning 

Masks and scrubs can seem like a wonderful way to treat your skin but there’s a lot of research suggesting otherwise. Having a simple, inexpensive and natural skincare routine not only helps your skin but it helps the environment as well. Go with what works for you and save your money when it comes to fancy products with tons of ingredients

Facial Massage 

French women swear by this and they are universally lauded for their skincare efforts. Whether this stereotype is earned or a myth you have to admit a lot of people turn to the french when it comes to skincare. Massaging your face properly when you use products not only helps the skin absorb the nutrients more deeply, it is relaxing. If you give your face a little massage each time you slather on, you set your skin up for a better day. 

These are my tips and I find that they work. After years of products that break me out and money wasted, simply making the routine feel more luxurious keeps me from splurging on new skincare all the time. Money saved and skin glowing. What more could you want?