“Look how happy they look. Where can I find a relationship like that? Do couples even do that anymore?”
“Woah, they’re on vacation right now? I wish I was. That looks so fun.”
“Look at what they got. I wish I had that.”
“I wish I could always be going somewhere. I wish I had their life.”
Aren’t we all guilty of scrolling through social media, probably daily, and comparing our lives to others? Stating that we wish such and such because of something we see online.
We see the people, the friendships, the activities, the vacations, the lives of our “friends,” then we take that and look at our own lives and suddenly who we are and what we have and do doesn’t seem as important or significant anymore. We’re not on an island on vacation, we’re not in a perfect relationship, we’re not buying the latest tech gadget.
Why do we let ourselves do this? Why do we go out with friends, sometimes friends we haven’t seen in ages, yet sit on our phones and scroll through news feed after news feed, neglecting any chance of initiating a meaningful conversation. We’re out yet we’re stuck in a mobile world. We no longer can sit and have an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation because someone has to constantly be on their phone and so it seems the conversation becomes one-sided.
Oh look at this—look at what they’re doing! SO WHAT. You’re where you are right now and you aren’t even enjoying it because you’re too busy looking down at your fingertips and worried about what someone else is doing. We lose the value in the precious moments that we’re given on this earth because we are stuck comparing.
How much of our lives are we missing by doing this? What if at the end of our lives, we could see how much time we spent on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on the web surfing. How much time did we spend on those sites when we could have spent time with family and friends, just being in their company. How many laughs did we miss out on, how much more could we have learned about someone if it hadn’t been for the technology to interrupt. How unhappy did it truly make us?
We see the lives of others, and it does something to us. We start to compare ourselves to those things we see online. The thing is though, it’s usually just the highlight reel. No one wants to post about the bad times- pictures of the tears cried, post about the difficult times, the sleepless nights, the struggles, the worries.. we post the happy times. The new promotion, the new house, the new baby, the latest destination. We take the highlights from someone else, and compare it to the daily life we are living, and it stirs unhappiness within us.
We think we’d be happier if we had this or that.. if we could find a man or woman like so and so has, then we’d be happy.
When did we stop opening our eyes to what’s right in front of us? Why are we SO engrossed with everyone else, that we completely miss what’s right in front of us. The leaves falling, the sun setting, the kindness and love someone was trying to show, yet we somehow missed. It’s become easy to base our worth based on how many “likes” we get, how many “followers” we have. What can we do to increase that? Why do we care so much?
You think people have perfect relationships, perfect jobs, perfect friendships and lives because that’s usually what we see. That’s not the case though. Take me, you’d think I was in a happy relationship. We post pictures of all the smiles and football games and activities that we do, but if you knew me , you’d know the past few months have been hard. You’d know that right now I can’t even technically officially say that I have a boyfriend. I’ve struggled, we’ve both struggled, there’s been tears and long nights, and there was a time when the man I thought I was going to marry was out of my life, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. You wouldn’t know that though. You’d think it’s been great. It is great though, because through the struggles, though it’s been hard, it’s given us strength and helped us build our relationship into something solid. We’re in a good place now, and I’m excited and happy to see where God will take us.
So as Thanksgiving draws near.. what if we tried something. If we tried getting off of our phones, off of our iPads and laptops and did something else. We wrote a letter thanking someone for their influence in our life, played a board game, watched the sunset in the middle of nowhere. Layed with our friends and just talked.
There’s so much to be thankful for, and if we’d start spending less time online and stop comparing and wishing for what others had, we might realize that this life we lead, though simple, is indeed so incredibly beautiful.