Social media & the comparison trap

Katherine Forbes | Nashville music business mentor

This post is part 2 of my last post, Is social media really a highlight reel? If you haven’t read that, click here and read that first and then come back to read this!

I think another part of this is that in order to keep up online - not even with people, but with algorithms - there are rules. We have to post regularly. We have to share pretty and professional pictures. We have to tell a story. We have to give a call-to-action or ask a question to encourage engagement. We have to use hashtags to grow our audience.

Yes, I understand it’s “social media,” but in a time where online marketing is all about being real, I think it’s actually gotten to a point of pushing people further away from being real and telling the full truth for fear of being judged or talked about in a negative way.

So here I go with some more questions... What if I just want to tell you what’s happening in my life? I literally took a selfie last week to “remember this stage of life.” Wait. Isn’t that the whole purpose of taking pictures? Social media has changed that. And why do I feel like I’m wrong for having success? Because I don’t want people to think I’m bragging. Why can’t I like/comment without getting sold to in return? Why are we so attached to the term “influencer?” Can I not influence others without someone paying me? Why are we trying to show off but also hide at the same time? What’s the point of sharing an “almost” real story? Why do we preach things like “progress over perfection” but only post when life *seems* perfect? 

Guess what!? Life isn’t a perfect or beautifully curated story! You’re not “falling into the comparison trap!” You’re not “comparing your level 1 to someone else’s level 10.” It’s not that either! You’re comparing your REAL LIFE to the half a story attached to a beautiful picture someone else is showing you from THEIR life. And chances are, you’re not at level 1! You’re just different. We can’t all be good at everything!! 

To summarize and go back to my original question (Why do we feel like we have to apologize for our successes or keep them to ourselves?) I’ll say: I want you to know that I don’t think I’m perfect. But I do want to celebrate my wins with you. And I want to celebrate your wins too! Social media and accountability can be so powerful... but only if we tell the whole story.


Your Turn

How have you been feeling about social media lately? Leave me a comment below and then share this post with your friends!


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Katherine Forbes | Nashville website designer

Katherine Forbes

Founder of Designing the Row and Creator of Music Biz Besties

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A Music City girl obsessed with creating confidence in my clients through design, branding, marketing, and community. In today’s world, your visual branding and online presence will either make or break you. I’ve got my Diet Coke in hand and am ready to get started on your next project.


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