Picture Courtesy of Tom’s Guide
This article: Is Instagram Ruining Our Female Friendships? by Amy Leak is everything! I honestly could not have said this any better. I think we have all been guilty of this at one time or another. The key is to admitting to our envy and working to fight against it. We all need to stop looking at these small moments in time captured by Instagram and Facebook, and realize they do not equate to a happy life. It only takes a few seconds to smile for the camera and what is not captured, is all the hidden traumas, insecurities, and life challenges that every individual is going through. I find people who stalk other people’s accounts looking for some sort of evidence that they are not alone in their misery very sad. I also find it sad that people post seeking validation or purposely trying to incite envy in others.
We all have problems. We all have things we are going through and none of us are perfect. Yet, no matter how many times you repeat that, people still fail to grasp that concept and will continue to compare their lives to others. It is true that misery loves company but if you find that you practice that often, you have some re-evaluating to do. Sadly, it is simply the world we live in.
I think we all need to take some time and disconnect and self reflect. I say that a lot in my blog posts but it is true. Stop pretending to be someone that you are not. Try to really be honest with yourself. It is a hard thing to do but it can bring you so much peace of mind. For me, I don’t see a lot of my friend and family’s post because I have filled my Facebook and Instagram timelines with stuff I like to regularly see – such as news articles, anything about writing and celebrity gossip, lol! All my social media is very Pinterest like; I follow things that appeal to my intellect. I say this because it might be a solution for someone else who has difficulty feeling inferior about their life due to other people’s posts. If someone gets under your skin, just un-follow them. There is no need to criticize them or roll your eyes about whatever they share, just simply remove yourself from their page.
Please take the time to read this fantastic article and take it to heart. ~ Mara Prose
In case the link above does not work for you, here is Amy’s Huffington Post article:
The familiar envy-inducing selfie. Many of us can agree we’ve wasted many morning commutes erratically scrolling through aspirational images of our female peers with a sinking sense of depreciation.
The Ugly Truth
Why do we look at these selfies? Aspiration. Motivation. #Goals.
What does this actually achieve? Comparison. Self-criticism. Envy.
Envy is an ugly thing. We don’t want to admit we feel inadequate or that we are doubtful of ourselves. Instead we feel envy that stirs up feelings of competition in all of us. She has something we want.
Competition is a defence mechanism for inadequacy. The truth is, we’d rather feel a sense of competition than admit she has something we want. And what does competition lead to? Individualism.
Now don’t get me wrong, individualism is good. However, there is a sort of individualism that produces a false independence, a fear of social intimacy, an unfounded assumption of others. The sad thing about the individualism that I’m talking about is that it is one that is immobilised by insecurity.
Let’s be honest, we are never going to achieve the exact same success we see on Instagram. Everyone’s measure and nature of success is different. More concerning still, these images are deliberate reconstructions and are not always authentic or achievable. As a result we’re breeding inferiority amongst women.
The Ugly Cycle
Why do we upload these selfies? Recognition. Affirmation. Achievement.
What does this actually achieve? A search for an identity on other people’s terms.
This is a losing battle.
Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically judging other women and ourselves, we should be forming real connections and relationships.
We can all build ourselves a digital avatar, an online personality through a carefully manipulated lens, a reward system based upon a reliance of others. What Instagram is actually doing is setting us apart more. It’s manufacturing a cycle built on destructive individualism and competition between women.
“My life is better than yours.”
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to share your lives with your friends. But there is such thing as a balance and sharing intimate snaps for the right reasons. We shouldn’t feel the need to find an identity in relation to others.
Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically judging other women and ourselves, we should be forming real connections and relationships. Instagram makes it very easy to become passive, detached from reality and unsatisfied.
I’ve got a few pieces of advice, my fellow females. Next time you meet someone (virtually or physically) that begins to stir up envy, just think:
She is an individual who is more than her image.
She has insecurities of her own, like you.
She has helped you understand more about what you might like to achieve in your own way.
You will fulfil your own personal ambitions on your terms.
Stay awesome and support each other, Ladies.
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