I used to refer to Facebook as “Timesuck,” for obvious reasons. But I have to confess that lately I’ve been feeling even more animosity towards it and all other social media hubs. Perhaps I’m just doing it wrong, but rarely do I come away from a scrolldown session feeling appreciably better about my life, or about life in general. Don’t get me wrong, I do find inspiration in the occasional video, or laughs at certain memes. If I’m really honest, however, I usually come away with this vague sense that, at best, I just wasted some precious time I’ll never get back, and at worst, I feel envious of/inferior to other peoples’ lives. This is when it feels more like “Soulsuck.”
I know I’ve fallen prey to this when I notice an urge to post the best looking pictures of my trips, or my kids. Or when I need to post the most clever quote on the most inspiring photo slide. These are not healthy urges. And sure, we can have them without any social media at all. But not nearly as fast, and our brains can’t really handle it. Imagine if you went to a party and saw 40 different people in 40 different settings in a matter of 40 seconds. And you flicked them all away with a swipe of your finger. You would go postal. And so might they.
What helps is when I pause, close the laptop, and breathe. Then I can realize the truth: I am neither inferior nor superior to anyone. My life is neither better nor worse than anyone else’s. No one is beating me and no one is losing to me.
It actually was never a competition in the first place.