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Instagram vs. Reality

Julie Tukuafu

READ TIME:2 min.

You’re not human if you haven’t fallen into the comparison trap at some point in your life. We’re all guilty of it. With the internet and social media ever-present in our lives, the highlight reel of basically anyone and everyone we know is available right at our fingertips 24/7. From celebrities and influencers to friends and family members, we are constantly subjected to beautifully edited photos of what might seem like the perfect lifestyle, relationship, or body type, and then we compare it to our own situation.

We get quick snippets of someone’s life and assume we know everything. We live in strange times where Photoshop, filters, and different angles give us a distorted version of reality. The truth is…no one’s life is perfect. Each person is unique for different reasons, and you can’t compare your journey to someone else’s, whether it’s fitness related or just in general. 

To help combat falling victim to the trap, we’ve put together five ways to keep you out of the comparison rut.

1. Know that Instagram is not real life.

Instagram is about image. As superficial as that sounds, it’s true. While plenty of people still use it as a way to document memories and keep in touch with loved ones, it’s also a business tool that thousands and thousands of brands and influencers rely on for income. Without beautiful photography and eye-catching imagery, it would be much harder to sell a product or service. This fitness blogger went viral for comparing the difference between her perfectly posed Instagram photos and real-life snapshots.

2. Set boundaries.

Ever rolled out of bed and, before you even brushed your teeth, found yourself scrolling through a never-ending series of perfectly curated images? Yeah…not the best way to mentally prepare for the day. Social media addiction is real, and nothing sucks your time away faster than mindlessly scrolling. So try to avoid checking Instagram first thing in the morning and set time frames for when to use social media.

3. Take a break.

If social media is making you feel bad about yourself, get off of it. If you’re struggling to distinguish the difference between Instagram and reality, delete the app. Do whatever you need to recharge and get in a good headspace. Even if you don’t struggle with these feelings, it’s always nice to take a digital break and unplug.

4. Follow people that make you happy.

This might seem obvious, but don’t feel bad about unfollowing people that don’t bring you joy! Follow people that inspire you and bring value into your life.

5. Exercise.

It’s no secret that exercising is good for our mental health. Studies have proven that it releases endorphins that literally make us feel happy inside. So if you’re ever feeling down, go for a run outside or hop on your machine and do a workout. Trust me, it’ll make you feel better! 

And if you ever need a little life reminder, here are some words of wisdom from the one-and-only Tommy Rivers Puzey:

“If you’re living the good life right now, I can assure you, it’s not going to last forever. If you’re struggling, if whatever you’re dealing with right now seems insurmountable, I can also assure you that’s not going to last forever, either. Everything comes in a cycle. You’ve got to take it all. Enjoy the good times. Embrace those rough times.”

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