Struggling with comparing yourself of social media? I’ve been there! Read on.
Theodore Roosevelt said “comparison is the thief of joy” and after a couple of scrolls into Instagram you’ll realize he was very, very right.
As I’ve started to grow my platform on Instagram I can already see what I like to call the little green (social media) monster rearing its ugly head.
I mean, in the world of travel blogging especially, picturesque FOMO inducing photos are all the norm. But if you want to be free from comparing your day 1 to others 1000 and questioning your own content —you’ve got to stop comparing yourself on social media.
Using these steps over the past few months has improved my relationship with social media tremendously.
So if you’re anything like me and find Instagram to be a headache at times — here are all the ways to stop comparing yourself on social media and live your best life online.
Comparing Your Life
1. Don’t be afraid to unfollow
It’s important to not add energy to anything that doesn’t make you feel good. And following someone is a direct cue that you want their energy! When you read their captions, scroll past their content, how does it feel?
Depending on your answer, you’ll want to approach this one of two ways. If their content generally leaves a bad taste in your mouth, cut it there. But if you experience envy when you look at their page, their life, or their content, it may be pointing you in the direction of what you want.
When I would see people living abroad, I instantly felt jealous. But, the older I got the more I realized this was all pointing me in the direction to…move abroad!. In this case, it may be best to change your mindset and look at their content as inspiration for your own goals.
To read more on living abroad click here
Comparing Your Follower Count
2. Leave genuine comments
If you find yourself comparing your follower number to other people on social media, leave a genuine comment! So much of jealously comes from wanting what others have. But I truly believe the more you celebrate others’ successes, the more you create for yourself.
If you see something that instantly makes you think “I wish I had that”, congratulate that person for having it and showing you what’s possible!
I personally struggle with this when it comes to follower count. When people reach 10k (i.e granting you the holy swipe up link) I immediately start to doubt my own social media following – which is, let’s be honest, is ridiculous.
With one billion user there’s truly enough room for everyone to grow and create a community online. But by comparing your day 100 to another content creators day 1000 you can get sucked into thinking it’s not possible for you.
So combat jealously with kindness, and show some love to creators in your space.
Comparing Your Content
3. Create before you consume
Before I adopted this rule my social media use immediately started with a comparison mindset. But by choosing to create content before I consume, my whole relationship with social media has changed for the better.
The truth is, if you’re always consuming, you’re never giving yourself time to think for yourself. And if you’re a content creator, this means never giving yourself time to create original content. Instead, you’ll find yourself consciously or subconsciously copying instead of standing out online.
Take time to come up with your own ideas and take action on them before you look around for what everyone else is doing. Not only will you stop comparing yourself on social media, but I guarantee your content will improve. And remember, it’s always better to create before you consume.
Comparing Your Engagement
4. Look out for comment pods
It had to be said. And because this isn’t something not usually talked about in the social media space, I’m worried it’s happening more often than not. If you constantly find yourself comparing your comments and engagement to other creators, you’re not alone.
I used to constantly wonder why some Instagrammers and bloggers had crazy consistent engagement and comments for everything they posted, even if the photo wasn’t great.
Over time I learned about comment pods and it disappointedly all came together. By joining communities of other bloggers and influencers, you can inflate your engagement through something known as a “comment pod”.
This essentially means anything you post will get roughly the same amount of likes and the same amount of comments from users in the pod. It’s extremely frowned upon by Instagram as it deters from authentic user experience, and I agree.
Out of curiosity I DM’d someone quite popular in the blogging world to ask if this was normal and she confirmed it’s definitely not. It also takes away from credibility in the influencer space (I agree).
So if you ever happen to find yourself comparing engagement, remember everything on social media is not what it seems. Instead, focus your energy on creating great content and forming authentic connections and engagement on your own platforms.
5. Take a social media break
If you’ve done all the steps above and still find yourself constantly comparing on social media, maybe it’s time to take a break. Your mental health always comes first, no matter what. And if social media is affecting the mindset you bring into your day to day life, it’s just not worth it.
As someone who posts on social media virtually every day, I know how difficult it can be to go cold turkey.
But looking back at the 3-month break I took from Instagram after I graduated (i.e avoiding comparing what my life should look like post-graduation) it was one of the main factors in my personal growth.
How do you deal with comparing yourself on social media? Let me know on Instagram @candaceabroad and remember to always do what’s right for you.
Read on my blogging and social media journey here!