So I have about a dozen half-written posts in my draft pile. Mainly, they are all-written but the pictures are missing because I can’t figure out how to turn the RAW pictures my husband took into normal JPEG size pictures for the blog. We just switched to a Mac and I’m at a total loss. I thought I was good at computers. Ah well. such is life.
Anyway, I’ve been having some rambling thoughts about comparing lately. I think that comparing can be a part of a healthy view of oneself and those around you. When I compare my situation to those who have it worse than me, it reminds me not to complain. When I compare myself to those who have it better than me, it reminds me that things will not always be this bad and that there is hope. When I compare my kid’s abilities to my friends and learn what is normal, I can help my kids work on the areas they are behind and applaud the areas where they are excelling. Comparison can be helpful. It takes us outside of just our little world and reminds us that the world is much bigger than us. Than me.
But more often than not, it turns into something ugly. Or maybe it just brings out the ugliness in myself that is already there, lurking. It makes me ungrateful for what I have and spoils my attitude. It makes me frustrated with my kids that they aren’t more like someone else. It makes me hate my home, my job, my body, my wardrobe, everything. Obviously this kind of comparison is unhealthy and ugly. Very ugly.
And that’s just regular comparison with real people in real life. When you add social media to the comparison scenario things go nuclear. Not only do we have access to everyone, all the time, we also only see what they want to share with us. That tends to be either the worst or the best of life. If it’s a sickness, it’s the worst flu you’ve ever had. If it’s a pregnancy, you were sicker than anyone else ever. If it’s taxes, you were clearly taxed more than anyone else. If it’s a normal day, but your toddler says one sweet or funny thing, that’s what is shared. If you accomplish nothing, but one good meal or one crafty project, that is what is blogged about and instagrammed. If you saw a friend or had a good conversation, everyone knows about it and that they are the best friend anyone could ever have. It’s skewed. To say the least. We are all aware of the dangers of a censored society, and yet we are all censoring ourselves all the time. We want love — whether that is by admiration or pity, we just want to be seen and heard.
I read something the other day from a friend of a friend who’s blog I read. She took a social media fast for most of January and was giving some reflections on it all. She made one comment that instantly resonated with me: She said that what she missed the most was the “me” that she projects in social media. Yep. That is me to a T. My favorite thing about social media is the pictures I share, the statuses I devise, the clever things I retweet, the creative life I display on my blog. I love ME on social media. I love it because it’s the me I want to be. Not the me that I am. The real me is just like you. So don’t compare yourself to the social media me. It’s a slice of my life, not all of it.
So, I have no real conclusions for you. Just ramblings and thoughts of a half-crazed stay-at-home mom trying to understand why I feel so crazy and insecure all the time. I think the comparison thing is a huge part of it. Just not sure how to fix it. But, it is nice to know that all of you are out there trying to navigate this crazy world too and that you feel just like I do sometimes. I guess that’s more of community than comparison. That sounds nice. I choose to be a part of a community. Not a part of the comparison scenario. Will you join me?