Inside My Mind / Thursdays Thoughts

Overcoming the Comparison Trap: Social Media

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As someone who has been blogging for a while and am on Instagram and Twitter like 24/7 something I’m guilty of is constantly comparing myself to others. Someone is almost always on vacation, getting sponsorships, free products, or is being invited to exciting events. Usually I just think it’s cool that they got the opportunity but sometimes the ugly green monster will rear its ugly head. Here are some ways that I keep that little green monster in check.
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Social media is curated and no one can tell me otherwise.

Okay so maybe not all accounts are curated but a majority of them are. The poster chooses what they are posting and of course it reflects whatever tone that they are aiming for. How often do you meet someone and later on realized that your first impression of them is way off? Well social media is kind of like that.
For example, my photos of me eating out. Yes while they may seem like a candid bird’s eye view of my meal, behind it was a lot of bossing my partner around like not letting him dig in right away, readjusting plates of food, borrowing the empty table beside me to put condiments on because I didn’t want them in the shot, and once even manhandling a friend’s hand in the photo to get the shot looking just right. It sounds quite silly even typing that but that was the work I put in trying to get a decent looking photo. Other people may not put in as much work but you have to remember that on social media people are always trying to put out a narrative.


You don’t know their story.

“Who’s that girl getting ALL the freebies? Seriously” is a thought that I’ve had many times regarding a few instagramers who blogged. Like it was beyond the regular items that bloggers tend to get to review and trust me, I was jealous. But after some digging, I found out that 1. They worked for a company that provides them with items for media purposes (aka it’s their day job!) or 2. They worked for it.
What do I mean by “they worked for it”? Well you know that image of the iceberg of success?
These were ladies who have been hustling hard for ages. They’ve been blogging before blogging was a thing or they’ve been supporting the brand for a long time before the brand took notice and their brand loyalty was rewarded. There are people who actually end up being employed by a company that way!


Blogging has become much more than just gear reviews and a personal journal, it’s a booming business that many corporations have tapped into. – Michelle

I’m always telling my coach how I’m jealous of this or that and she’s always had wise words for me. We should keep in mind that there are blogs and social media accounts where they have professional photographers following them around to take *candid* photos of them while they are subtly holding a product or modeling a product. There are people who while preaching a certain lifestyle that we are jealous of who are actually being backed by companies! There are also companies that will pay you to upload photos that are from their press release and all you need to do is to write a vague caption that way it looks like they’re on vacation somewhere with palm trees, they might actually just be in PJs at home. You never know.

QOTD: How do you overcome the comparison trap?

Linking this post with with Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking out Loud Thursday

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<3 Carmy

14 thoughts on “Overcoming the Comparison Trap: Social Media

  1. as far as I’m concerned, it’s all a highlight reel. I read a quote that went something like “don’t compare your real life to someone’s highlight reel” and it really got me. Thanks for being so honest about this!

  2. Curating is rampant and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. What I truly admire are those that are able to maintain authenticity. Now more than ever so many are hanging out shingles, claiming to be “expert” in this or that. The reader must beware and do their research before buying in. I avoid the comparison trap by believing there’s more than enough to go around and keeping my eyes on my own paper.

  3. Oh girl, trust me, I’ve been there!
    I absolutely have the “why not me” days in blogging. Then I remember WHY I started and I think about the effort it takes to have a perfectly curated life and decide it’s really not what I want.

  4. I’ve had to recently step back and just decide that I am what I am. I’ve gotten some cool stuff and when I’ve asked why, it’s always because they like my voice. Not my craptastic pictures, not my numbers, but the way that I express myself. So I just remind myself that I will never be the biggest or the best paid, but I’m having fun here over in my little corner and every once in a while, fun things happen.

  5. Yep, it’s true…we can’t believe everything we see on social media. All that glitters isn’t gold, and we shouldn’t worry so much about what other people are doing/receiving. Everything is so competitive these days…it can really be tough to remember this!

  6. You most certainly cannot believe everything that you see or read online. While pictures often tell a story, they don’t tell a full story. As you said, we only choose to share online what we want to share, and though it might seem as though somebody has the “perfect” life we have no idea what it is that they aren’t sharing.

  7. “…they might actually just be in PJs at home. You never know.”, wow. That kind of reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons, only the inverse where the mayor is giving a press conference from the beach, pretending to be his office 🙂

    Yes comparison is silly on social media. Confession: 90% of my instagram run shots are taken AFTER my run! Not during 😉 Social media has a dusting of the Hollywood effect and we shouldn’t take it literally.

    • Weird that that’s my profile pic and I haven’t noticed before. It looks like I’m posing in front of a prison!

    • LOL! Mayor Quimby. Of course. Your comment reminds me of when people complain about running photos and *shaming* runners for stopping on their runs for a photo when so many of us just take an action shot before or after our run.

  8. What bothers me more is that some bloggers/IGers get freebies based on their number of followers, etc. but when you scroll through their followers you quickly see they have bought them, have ghosts accounts following, etc.

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