The Comparison Game
Why am I playing this game? I never win. I don't know anyone that plays this game and actually wins.
I have been finding myself in a spiral of comparison lately. I don't know why, well, actually I do. I am spending WAY too much time on social media again.
I deleted my FB account over a year ago and while I wasn't on I was much happier, I had so much more time to do things I actually wanted to do, spending time with people I love, and didn't care (because I didn't know) what other people had that I didn't. Life was great.
After being back on FB for maybe 5 months, I was already feeling the strain and pull to compare what my reality is to what other people's social media reality is. Vacations, new vehicles, home upgrades and so much more. Perfect family vacations, no bickering kids, sing song and Disney perfect lives. Why was my life so much worse all of a sudden. Nothing in my reality had changed same kids, same husband, same house and life; but more social media, less time, and more stress.
I have recently deleted my Twitter account, mostly because I don't use it and hate all the emails telling me all of the wonderful things other people we getting to do that I was missing out on. Even though I don't want to do any of it. Or at least I didn't want to until someone else was doing it.
You see, no one posts the ugly moments, the kids fighting in the back seat, spilling juice all over the floor and not cleaning it up, the stress of putting up the tent just to have it fall over again, and loosing their mind because they do and do and do and non one seems to notice. And if they do post about it, it's usually followed by the perfect loving mommy moment of teaching a valuable lesson, the perfect song comes on the radio and the kids settle down and are happy again. They don't record their ugly mom (or dad) moments, when they loose their cool, when they snap and make a bad decision, yell a curse word and slam a door.
Today was ugly in our house. I snapped, I threatened to throw out all of my kids stuff, sell their beds, give away our pets and broke down in tears on my back deck because I felt like I wasn't measuring up. But measuring up to what? To a standard that I am placing on myself. No one is telling me that I need to do anything different, have anything different than I have now except myself. I prayed, I confessed my frustration to my husband and my God, I talked about it with a couple of trusting friends and I know that I need to make some changes again to release myself from self induced pressure and guilt.
I'm taking another Social Media break. I have decided that the health of my family and my own mental health are much more important than putting myself through another round of the comparison game.
It won't be a full on no contact through social media although that would be amazing to do again but a more disciplined break. After all it's easy to not do something when you don't have access. But to have the ability to use and choose not to is a whole other level of discipleship. I have a ministry based on changing behaviours and making better choices. Sure some of it has to be avoidance by not being close to the substance that you have lost control over, whether it be alcohol, drugs, pornography or social media and jealousy. The ministry has a social outreach component which over the next few months will be taken over by others which will be awesome but until that comes I do have that responsibility.
I challenge you to try this. for myself it will be on Fridays through the weekend. Friday is my sabbath day. A day when I should be spending more time with God and getting to know his will for me and the weekend is a time when my family can all be together, why am I filling it with the monotony of scroll, refresh, like, repeat.
Change the mantra from "photos or it didn't happen" to "no photos that's how it happened." Stop feeding the comparison monster in your own life as well as the lives of others. You may think that you don't have the best of something, but there is someone out there that is jealous of what you have and is comparing part of your life to theirs and trying to find a way to have it as good as you do.