Comparison is the Thief of Joy and Social Media is the Accomplice

June 20, 2018

 

 

Social media has changed the way we see our lives. We see the best of others. They see the best of us. But we all know that the best, the perfect, all things happy-go-lucky is not reality, no matter how social media chronicled lives makes it seem.

 

Sometimes scattered on our timelines are glimpses of true transparency for those who share the struggles of their lives, but yet it isn’t the norm. What we typically see and we find ourselves comparing ourselves to is the perfect part of the lives of others. 

 

We see “perfect families” - adoring husbands, all-patient wives, well-behaved children. We see families with healthy children, present grandparents celebrating holidays together.  

 

We see those that are the picture of “health” - in gyms, meal prepping with veggies and proteins and in the best shape of their lives.

 

We see the wanderlust travels of college-aged students and young adults in places suited for post cards basking in the summer sun without a care in the world.

 

We see those with careers filled with success and all-sufficient salaries that affords them confidence and financial security for the unknown.

 

We see the brand new houses built with modern conveniences to make life easy, enjoyable and  homes beautiful. We see the latest luxury cars in morning car selfies, big boats captained out on the water with friends sharing laughter. We see that unattainable trophy buck or picture worthy fresh-water catch that we wish we had made.  

 

We see things that we are not, and the lives that we do not have.  

 

The pictures of “perfection” make us wonder what we could do differently to be like those people, make us wish our lives were different or better. The comparison makes the joy that we do have slip away every time when looking at social media to scroll and see what the lives of others seems to be.

 

But in reality there are struggles behind the saturated pictures of happiness on social media that are not shared. There are struggles you do not see - mounting debt and credit card bills, marriages struggling to make it but smiling through the pain, body image issues, abusive relationships, those struggling to get over an addiction, loneliness after losing a loved one, deep worry about where the money will come to pay those past due bills and feelings of fear if the cancer will return.

 

Embrace what you have today - the good, the difficult and the possibilities. Our lives are all a work in progress. Your life is not and will not be perfect and no one else’s is even if it seems on social media. A “perfect life” creates a useless shell of a person without empathy and understanding to a world around us. You can and will have wonderful times, memories and beautiful days in this journey of life. But struggles will come no matter what.

 

No matter if you recognize it or not  - God’s got this. He wants you to be happy, but filled with the good and lasting things. He came to give you life filled with peace that passes the understanding of this world. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 

 

Don’t let the thief of comparison rob your life. Be thankful for what you do have today. Joy is a choice and so is comparison.  ~

 

{Written by: Jenny Cox Holman}

 

 

 

 

 

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MississippiMatters is a news blog of cooperative writers, videographers and podcasters published by  The Well Writers Guild, a 501c3 devoted to mentoring Mississippi writers and to addressing uncovered or under-covered topics.  MississippiMatters focuses on offering creative "takes" on our state's culture, ideas, events and more.