Is Instagram causing your insecurity and jealousy? Recently I came across a blog post that suggested un-following people on Instagram and social media if their success, pretty face, thin body, beautiful family and more made you feel insecure or jealous and it stirred something in me. I understand the notion and get that there is no point in following people on social media who don’t add value to your life, but it made me dig a little further into the “why” behind why I would choose and have chosen in the past to un-follow someone on Instagram for these reasons.
It sounds so juvenile, but honestly, social media has caused so many of us to revert to our insecure-drama-filled junior high days and that feeling of “oh my gosh, she’s developing boobs, and I’m not” kind of thing (oh that was just me? I stuffed my bra anyway). When you are infiltrated with people continually putting their best foot forward with pretty pictures, happy families, amazing jobs, lavish vacations, products galore, it’s inevitable that you will at some point struggle with comparison and possibly jealousy. And if you struggle with anxiety and depression like I do, it’s a real struggle some days.
So let me make my confession and tell you that I’ve struggled with comparison and jealousy and still have to fight to move past it. When I see someone post on Instagram their newly renovated home, expensive handbag, all-paid, and sponsored vacation while I’m wiping my three-year-old’s butt, I struggle with jealousy because I want those things too. When I see blogging friends or friends, in general, hanging out and I am not invited to the party, I can battle with self-worth because hey, I think I’m pretty cool (though my RBF can be a real deterrent I’ve heard). When I see friends and associates land these fantastic career opportunities that I would die to have I can struggle to not compare my worth at times because I work constantly to up my game, which can land myself in the downward spiral of the never enough mentality and negative self-talk. When I see other moms post their six-pack chiseled abs while I’m STILL struggling to do one freaking sit-up, it can make me do a big fat eye roll and scroll while I pop some cheetos and chips and salsa into my mouth.
Maybe you’ve struggled with this too, or perhaps you still do!
Now that I’ve confessed my struggle with insecurity let me tell you what I’ve learned over this past year. Those pictures on Instagram and Facebook that make me feel jealous and insecure aren’t the problem and un-following, muting and whatever else on social media isn’t going to make them go away. Because if I’m honest, those feelings chased me into my actual life and let me tell you something from experience; the spirit of jealousy and insecurity is like a weed that can quickly grow out of control and choke just about everything good you have going on in your life. When you let insecurity, jealousy AND ASSUMPTION take over, it ruins friendships and potential friendships; marriages; job opportunities and so much more.
So check yourself. Unfollowing someone because of your jealousy and insecurity isn’t going to make them less and it certainly won’t make you more.
If you want a six pack, go get one! If you want to be successful, fight and keep fighting to get there. If you want what you’re jealous of, go get it! No one’s stopping you.
On the flip side of this Instagram follow-un-follow thing, I don’t follow people that I find to be rude and mean-spirited. If they are continually posting their negative, sad talk and putting people on blast in a weird passive-aggressive way, or because I know they aren’t a nice person, I will un-follow because it’s annoying and I have zero time for that ish. I will also un-follow from a consumer stand-point if a brands Instagram content is boring and I’m just not interested in what they are putting out into the visual world because it’s not my style. But to un-follow someone because of their current status, following, success and whatever else they have that is causing me to feel inferior is my issue and so, so lame.
Bottom line is this: someone else’s happiness (and we never really know because it’s social media), thin body, pretty face, success, happy family, cute kids constantly dressed to the freakin nines AND IN MATCHING mommy and me outfits should not take away from your ability to be supportive. Cheer people on and love on people when they find success. Flip the switch in your mind because there is only one you and only one her and you are both unique and what one person offers this world doesn’t negate what you have to offer this world. Stay in your own lane girl and drop the insecurity because you have nothing to be insecure about in the first place. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. The end.