The Comparison Game
What happens when too much of a good thing turns sour?
My YouTube recommendations list is chalked full of videos about minimalism in all aspects—zero waste, intentional living, podcasts on the topic, and even things such as minimalist yoga.
Social media is something I don’t understand, yet am so entranced with. Without it, I personally would have never heard about minimalism or known what an impactful journey it would lead me on. The videos in my recommendation feed allow me to expand my ideas on simple living and get creative with the life I already have, which, of course, has been a good thing. But, what happens when too much of a good thing becomes a drawback?
The impact of social media on our lives is clear when doing the research—when we allow ourselves to mindlessly scroll through the media pages long enough, we begin to judge those on the media platform, their followers, and even ourselves. Though the idea of endless minimalism videos seems harmless (and some people’s dream), it can begin to have an impact on one’s thoughts as they take a deep look into their heart and possessions.
For me, almost all the people I am following on social media are minimalism enthusiasts, which has shaped the way I view my possessions and the frame of mind in which I consume now. While this has lead to the more intuitive, productive, and free person I am today, it has also caused some downfalls.
After feeding myself white walls, sand-beige furniture, and clear kitchen countertops through other people’s social media posts, I found that I looked down upon myself for owning more than I thought I needed to. I saw creators with all their possessions zipped up in a small backpack, ready to board their next flight. I thought to myself, “why am I not traveling with 45 items? I could easily do that.”
We tell our youth to be careful when consuming so much social media on a daily basis and to not compare ourselves to the people we see online. We understand that our lives are our own, and that the things we are scrolling through are merely a highlight reel.
Comparison is a silly game that we play with ourselves because we don’t fully understand the concept of another person’s life. We don’t see the behind-the-scenes of the photos we’re scrolling through, and we don’t have a single clue as to what their personal life is like. All we are seeing is what they want us to see.
Minimalism is not practical for everyone, nor is a pristine living room or traveling the world with 45 items in a backpack. The more we compare ourselves to the people around us—regardless of whether they are minimalists or not—the more unsatisfied we become with our own journey.
You are here because you are wanting to become the best version of yourself. Please do not let the comparison of others ruin the sparkle of that exciting adventure.