In this social media age we all live in, it’s natural to compare ourselves to one another. It’s hard when you’re scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to not judge your life and how it stacks up to what you are seeing on your screen. The problem with this is that what we are seeing online is typically someone’s highlight reel.
Someone might share a lovely picture of them and their spouse – #mcm #wcw. But what they don’t share is their arguments or the fact that they haven’t had sex in weeks. Someone might share a cute snap of their baby but won’t showcase the tears or the blowouts. Someone might share the highs, but never the lows. It’s natural to want to share only the best parts of our lives.
The problem with everyone sharing their highlight reels is that we don’t get an accurate representation of what someone’s life may look like. You might find yourself scrolling through Instagram, coveting your college friend’s recent vacation. You might see your work colleague post on Facebook about their recent promotion and question your success at work. Or you might see a high school buddy post about having their third child and wonder if you should expand your family too. All of these moments can lead you to question everything and appreciate nothing. All it does is spread discontentment.
All of this has led me to question social media’s place in my life. I’ve always hesitated about what I share and I try to limit my time scrolling through other people’s lives so I can focus on my own. But I never fully realized the damage this comparison age could have until I saw how it was affecting my relationship with my son. I started finding myself not only comparing my life to others, but my son’s as well. I’d see family and friends with babies around the same age as Lincoln, posting about their child reaching various developmental milestones. And I’d wonder why Lincoln wasn’t reaching those same milestones as quickly. Why didn’t he have teeth yet? Why isn’t he crawling? Why is he still waking up throughout the night? Why? Why? Why?
When I found myself constantly making these comparisons, I realized how damaging this could be. I found myself putting all sorts of expectations on my son. Expectations! On my EIGHT-MONTH OLD! Do you realize how ridiculous that is? How can I expect so much from a BABY?! This realization dawned on me and I quickly connected the dots to my addiction to social media. If I wasn’t scrolling all the time, then I wouldn’t have anything to compare to.
This was an epiphany for me. It may seem so straightforward but for me, it wasn’t. It took seeing the effects on my child to really highlight the negativity that social media can bring to our lives. And that is why I have decided to cut back. I don’t plan on deleting any of my personal social media accounts because I use them to keep my family updated on Lincoln. But I do plan on limiting my usage of them. I have decided to only check my social media accounts once in the morning as I get ready for work and once after work. Once I have done that, my phone will go in my bedroom.
I want to focus on being present and spending time with my husband and my son. I want to be in the moment, not thinking about my next Instagram caption. I encourage you all to follow along and do the same. Put down your phones and pick up your baby. Close your laptop and open your heart to your spouse. Engage in the life right in front of you, not the one on a screen. Be present.