They say that comparison is the thief of joy.  I 100% agree with that statement.  However, I would take it a step further and say that comparison is the thief of joy, perspective and reality.  Especially in this day and age where the internet rules our lives.

Vishnu and I were catching up on the videos of one of his favorite YouTubers, Philip DeFranco, a few weeks ago.  Towards the end of a particular video, he said something that made both of us stop and really listen.

He said…

Don't base your reality on stuff that's been manufactured for the outside world to consume

It’s worth repeating…

Don’t base your reality on stuff that’s been manufactured for the outside world to consume. 

I’ll be honest, a few years ago, I often found myself scrolling through a given social media feed comparing what I had going on to what others were sharing.  And as much as I hate admitting it, sometimes what I saw made me a sad or upset. 

And then I grew up a little, and I realized a couple of things.  First, comparing my life to someone else’s was useless.  Even if it was as great as the pictures I was seeing, what good did comparing do for me?  Absolutely none.  Second, I slowly came to understand that when it comes to the internet not everything you see is what you get.  While it likely is a tiny sliver of reality, it’s NEVER the entire pie.  You see the beautiful home, the fun vacations, the perfect relationship.  You don’t see the sadness, the worry, the anxiety, the arguments.

Vishnu finds it funny that I think about this so much, mostly because of this blog and my social media accounts.  Every time he scrolls through my Instagram feed he jokingly says, “Looks like you have a pretty perfect life, Par.” 

I guess I’m guilty of portraying slivers of my life as well.  So don’t base your reality on the stuff that I manufacture for the outside world to consume.  Just kidding…kind of.  Look, I try super hard to be as real as possible on MIS.  I’ve gone through and continue to go through my share of crappy situations/experiences just like everyone else.  However, I don’t share all of it on here because it’s not just my story to tell.  If it involves other people, I keep it off the blog. 

Anyways, I thought I would illustrate my ramblings with a personal example.  I posted the picture below on my Instagram account while at my friend Sweeti’s wedding.

Par and Vishnu

I’m assuming that if anyone other than me and Vishnu were to look at this picture, they would see a young, happy, in love couple.  What they don’t see/know is that I was a bit of a grouch the entire weekend.  I was rude to Vishnu on several different occasions for no reason whatsoever.  You also don’t see the serious conversation we had to have before leaving Detroit. 

This is just one example of how what you see on the internet doesn’t always equate to reality and what’s really happening.  And don’t kid yourself…we ALL have lots and lots of these kinds of examples. 

So do yourself a favor and stop comparing.  Be an informed consumer of social media.  The internet is not an indicator of reality.  Life is full of ups and downs…for everyone. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

By Parita

9 thoughts on “Comparison, Reality, and the Internet”
  1. yes, yes, and yes to each and every word you wrote. social media can be a big b-word sometimes. there are several times i have felt sad about my life because i fell in some instagram trap. i have to constantly remind myself that it is just social media and its always not the entire story.
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    1. Thanks, Kacy! I think we’re all guilty of it…some more than others. And for the record, I think you’re pretty real with your readers.

  2. I love love love this post!! So important for people to keep in mind this day in age. You should not feel responsible for reporting the bad/mundane stuff because the general idea of social media is to highlight your “ups” anyways — also to glorify the every day moments…But I believe it IS 100% a viewer’s responsibility to step back and realize that they too have these same “ups” in their life and the “downs” that are invisible to the world are behind the scenes of everyone’s lives. Sorry for the long comment but I feel so strongly that people need to realize this and remind themselves as often as necessary if they fall into the trap of comparing. Thanks for posting a well-written and well-supported reminder <3

  3. Couldn’t agree more. What you see on a fb feed or instagram is only part of the picture. And I think none of us are immune to the feelings you mentioned – finding our own lives inadequate. Guess it just goes to show everyone has good times and bad and you need to look beyond just what’s been shared. A very well written post!

    1. Thank you! We definitely need to take a step back and realize that a picture (or update) never tells the whole story.

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