The World Through Filtered Eyes

Chicago Compass Counseling Blog

It's 6:45am, and your alarm begins it's gentle coaxing of you into the day from your smart phone. As you hit your first round of snooze, your fingers automatically click to your emails, your Facebook feed, your Snapchats, and your Instagram feed. You begin to delve into the world of filtered, carefully calculated witty posts about how #blessed your social media world is with elaborate candlelit dinners, court-side games, and tropical vacations with significant others - all before you've brushed your teeth for the day.

So what happens when we compare our inner experience to someone else's social media feed? Anxiety. Unfair comparison. Despair. And generally, the feeling of "How did they get that life, and I'm here?" Social media is a fickle friend. Sure, it helps us remember birthdays, share exciting milestones in our lives, and generally wile away the time on a long CTA ride with some funny cat memes. On the other hand, however, social media can sometimes set us up to compare ourselves to something that doesn't really exist.

You see your "friends" on their tropical vacations, or at that restaurant you've been dying to try out but can't afford, and think that somehow you've lost your way. In reality, however, you're seeing just a sliver of their life that's been cropped, filtered, and carefully selected for the world to see. It's so critical to take a step back and remember that social media is not an accurate representation of someone's life. A challenge to you-take a look at your own Instagram feed. It looks pretty good, right? I imagine there are times when your life hasn't always looked that effortlessly flawless, but you don't show that to the world. The next time that anxiety, comparison, or despair start to creep in after spending some time on social media, I encourage you to remember that you're comparing yourself to someone's filtered self.
Julia Meo, LCSW, CADC
Hi, I'm Julia, and I'm a counselor who helps organizations make lasting change. I am passionate about the health and wellness of young adults and corporate training here at Chicago Compass Counseling. If you're interested, you can read more about me on my about page.
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