Insecurity as a Service

If you’re looking for a reason to feel like you could be doing more, check your social media feeds.

Say you spent Sunday afternoon writing a great blog post and you feel pretty good about it. Then you check Twitter and you see what everyone else has been up to:

  • Cooked a delicious meal
  • Tried a cool new restaurant
  • Got a new job
  • Went to the movies
  • Finished a 1,000-page novel
  • Took an online course and learned something interesting
  • Celebrated a child’s first birthday
  • Ran a marathon
  • Announced a pregnancy
  • Spent the day hiking with a cute new significant other
  • Ran a 5K for the first time
  • Learned the basics of a new programming language
  • Painted their bathroom
  • Painted a portrait
  • Planted a garden
  • Won a soccer match
  • Shared a hilarious joke
  • Toured a foreign city and posted beautiful photos
  • Had a talk accepted at a conference
  • Saw the new baby giraffe at the zoo
  • Volunteered at a soup kitchen
  • Got retweeted by a celebrity
  • Found a rare craft beer
  • Wrote a great blog post

We forget that social media tends to be everyone else’s highlight reel. We compare our average to the sum of our friends’ highs. There’s no way we can come out looking good in that equation.

The solution to this is perspective: Remember that the comparison isn’t valid. The math doesn’t work. When we let our happiness hinge on how we compare to others, we can’t possibly win.