I can still remember my wonder and delight the first time I logged onto Facebook in 2009. I was so happy to see and interact with friends from around the world in such a simple and easy way. However, the honeymoon didn't last. I soon started to experience the dark side of Facebook: the comparison. It started slowly, but the intensity of comparison kept creeping up until, one look at friend's picture, taken at her atest marathon, could send me into a tailspin of feeling crappy about myself for an entire day. The more I liked, the less I liked myself.
Thankfully, I was able to see that it was no longer a healthy choice for me, and in 2013, for my 41st birthday, I gave myself the gift of freedom from Facebook. I put my account into deep hibernation and it stayed that way for over three years. I didn't miss it.
A little over a year ago, I launched my coaching practice. Feeling like it was necessary for running a business in these times, I returned to Facebook. Many good things have come of it. I've connected with some of my clients through Facebook. I've used it as a platform to share my writing. I've been able to see what's going on with old friends (and genuinely celebrate their successes) and have also made some new online friends that have really enriched my life.
The dark side of comparison didn't show up right away, but the creep has started again. It's not logical. I know that no one s really iving life as summed up by their posts. We all show a curated view of ourselves to the world. I’d love to be the curated me of my posts! And still, sometimes I can even compare myself with people who are posting about their own pain caused by comparing themselves to others. Seriously. That just happened last week.
It's time, again, for me to stop looking over the fence
at what seems greener
and to water my own damn grass.
For me, that means getting back to the basics of what supports my life. Taking the time to menu plan and prepare food that nourishes me and my family. Meditation. Exercise. Writing. Housekeeping. Offering maximum value to my current clients. Saving most of my likes for the amazing humans that are in my very own home.
I'm not wanting to go into deep hibernation, there are a bunch of positives that I don't want to lose. However, I have to be honest about my capacity for comparison and compassionately make a plan for healthy Facebook use (most likely one that includes an app to limit my access).
Over the next month I’ll be exploring more about how comparison affects our lives and how we can thrive in our own domain. But for now, I'd love to hear from you! How does social media fit into your life? What do you love about it? What are your challenges? How can you engage with social media in a way that feels healthy and supportive?