It’s official. According to the Daily Mail, those in mid-life are not faring well in the social media stakes, whereas younger people are found to thrive (adults not kids).
Interesting to me.
Mid-life is described as 30-49. Ahem. Really? This is actually NOT the point of this post, but I couldn’t move forward without commenting on this.
And now onto the main point – the thing that apparently gets to us all is comparison. We compare our lives to that of everyone else and we feel shit. We look at our peers and we say to ourselves, ‘god, I’m not doing that well.’ or, ‘their house is better than mine,’ ‘why haven’t I run a marathon?’and so on.
I think this especially happens of course if we’re having a hard time and having a stressful life in some way we look around us and think – everyone’s got it better than me.
There is some truth in this. Some people do actually have it better than us. But I’m not convinced that it is these people that we are really looking at. Usually we are looking at friends, colleagues, people we vaguely know, went to school with etc.
What we must remember is that people only put their absolute best stuff on social media. We are mostly concerned with wanting to look good, be judged well by others and put on a good show. This is incredibly normal. Generations before us were doing it and before that – just without social media. When going out people wore their best clothes, had the best hairstyles…
We see some people showing the warts and all stuff a bit now. Someone I greatly admire on Instagram is Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon), who is body and skin confident, no matter what. Of course she is not yet in mid-life (!), but perhaps we middle-aged (!) could aspire to be more like her?
Personally, most of my stuff is Sunday best, I can’t help it. I was brought up to show my best side when in public and emotion was not something anyone had time for, least of all knew what to do with! Breaking down was not an option; so with best feet forward the public persona goes out into the world.
Maybe this is an age thing? We mid-lifers are less comfortable with vulnerability or exposure and so we work harder on social media to keep the front going, and only let our guard down when feeling super-amazing.
But really, no one is out there achieving way more than everyone else. Everyone is just doing the best they can with the resources they have. And some people are just better at taking selfies.
Comparison is the thief of joy, so let it go.