Social Comparisons, Me, + GenZ

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

How do we avoid social comparisons in a world ruled by social media? The short answer is that I really don’t know.

Recently I saw a TikTok video created by @residualdata that emphasized the effects of social comparisons on society and, more importantly, GenZ. In the video, she details how the musician and influencer Aubrey O’Day frequently photoshops herself into pictures of places around the world that other creators have photographed.

Social media has given most of the world some of the highest highs, yet it has also given us the lowest of lows. As a young adult who grew up during the explosion of social media in the mid-2010s, I can confidently say I have seen all sides of social media, the good and the bad. Societal pressure is something that can get to you every day. “Am I pretty enough?” “I wish my body looked better.” “Why don’t I get any engagement?” For Gen Z especially, we not only face global problems but virtual ones as well now.

To top it off, the rapid growth of TikTok has also given more light to this. We see how people can go from not being known online to social celebrities overnight. Social comparisons have genuinely become the thief of joy. It’s so hard to be yourself because of unwritten expectations that society has placed. It seems complicated to combat, but I believe there are a few ways to alleviate this problem in social media.

As cliché as it sounds, we really need to be ourselves. We need to stop comparing ourselves to people we don’t know and even people we do know. Life wasn’t meant to be spent in anxiety-ridden states because we don’t have the social capital we want. We also need to understand that 80% of social media is fake. Everyone is trying to level up on each other to make it seem like they’re living their best life, when in actuality, living your best life comes from LIVING.

Every day doesn’t have to be an adventure. Realistically, we all have mundane days more often than not, and that’s okay. This compulsively needs to be better not because you genuinely want it but because you need the world to see what is draining our humanity right before our eyes. As I said, I am a victim of this, but the first step to stopping social comparisons is genuinely realizing what it’s done to you. What influencers and content creators do I can’t change, but I hope this sheds light on an issue that is plaguing so many. Of course, this is all easier said than done because social media is everywhere, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be precisely what it was intended to be a tool to connect and share.



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