Behind The Highlight Reel: Mental Health And Social Media Comparison

Behind The Highlight Reel: Mental Health And Social Media Comparison

Comparing our Behind-the Scenes to Others' Highlight Reels

Comparing our Behind-the-Scenes to Others’ Highlight Reel

Think about a social media post that makes you stop scrolling and stare. It seems like a perfect moment, right? But have you ever wondered how many pictures were taken before getting the perfect one? How many filters and edits were used to make it worthy for public view? Behind that picture-perfect moment, there’s an entire journey of insecurities and doubts that we all know and experience. 

Rarely do we see the full spectrum of human experience on these platforms. Consider the smiling couple in a post on your feed. Are those smiles truly reflective of the dynamics of their relationship? Does social media ever show the arguments, the tears, the moments of vulnerability in any relationship? And this makes us question our own relationships, our own reality, our own experiences, because our life just doesn’t seem as perfect as everyone else’s. Social media tries to convince us that everyone else is more than we can ever be; more intelligent, more attractive, more successful, more fulfilled. But who are we really behind the screen? 

Breaking the Social Media Comparison Cycle

When we constantly compare ourselves to the highlight reels of others, we forget that they are only showcasing a piece of their life. They chose a piece of themselves that they felt was worthy for the world to see – and we overlook the struggles, the failures, the insecurities that make us human. We internalize this false narrative of perfection, leading us to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. The more we scroll and absorb this message, the less we value our own reality and just wish for someone else’s. 

But it’s important to remember that social media is just a snapshot in someone’s life and not the whole story. Behind every filtered photo and carefully written caption is a person with their own set of challenges and imperfections, just like any of us. By embracing our own journey, imperfections included, we can tap into our authenticity in a media-filled world.

How to Cope with Social Media Comparison? 

  1. Prioritize Real-Life Connections: Invest in your offline relationships that matter and find true connection
  2. Set Time Limits: Know your limits and set boundaries for your social media usage to reflect this. 
  3. Reminders: Remind yourself that everyone has struggles and that social media is displaying only a snapshot
  4. Turn Off Notifications: Allow yourself to engage with social media on your own terms, rather than reacting to every alert.
  5. Do a Detox: Take a break from your phone, for 10 minutes, an hour, or a day to recharge. 


Some Helpful Resources:

Social Media and the Brain

What Happens to Your Brain When You Mindlessly Scroll

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