Boy, I love the internet. It’s the second best invention after the Spork. Not having to switch cutlery just rocks. (Admit it, you want one too!)
Not only the whole world of porn (rule number 34 anyone?) and funny cat pictures is just one mouse click away, it’s frigging easy to find information about pretty much anything and anyone. Plus, connecting with other people, and staying in touch never was easier.
Though, that’s also one of the biggest issues. You don’t just connect and stay in touch with people, like in everyday life, at least subconsciously, you also compare yourself with others.
But unlike in the real world, where you bump into some random every day normal guy people, four things are different.
- Showing off is way easier on the interwebs.
- It’s not just people around you showing off, it can be pretty much anyone around the world. Which leads to…
- Celebrities/wanna be Instagram models seem to be everywhere as these are the ones who get the most attention.
- Their pics and videos don’t necessarily reflect their true life, but…..better take a seat….are staged and meticulously made to look desirable. Barbie figured this out, and even Dan Bilzerian said that his Instagram doesn’t necessarily reflect his life and only shows the 20% over the top awesome parts.
(Though I assume Essena O’Neill’s broken hearted confessions she made in the first link are staged too, and just some meta marketing tactic. Yes, I linked to 9gag cause it’s the least bullshit saturated post on that topic, and of course I incorporated her name for SEO reasons and to get my share of the “hype cake”.)
Who would have thought that. Big surprise. Much shock. Such wow.
Now back to the boring normal non interwebs world, where this whole circus derived from.
Unfortunately, us comparing stuff is normal
There are some things, which are absolute (nope, not only the vodka), and don’t need a benchmark.
People can’t be just a bit pregnant or a bit dead, the speed of light is a constant, and World of Warcraft truly is the heroin of the internet.
Though most other things don’t have a definite value, and if they are good, bad, a lot, little, strong, weak,…and so on, only is defined by comparison. Wine, if expensive, will taste better, award winning wines are highly biasing wine connoisseurs, and prizing crappy wine as expensive will win you the wine award of excellence by biasing the judges. Talk about us objectively comparing stuff.
This behavior also is found in monkeys. They were asked to fulfill a task, and by completiton treated with food. One monkey was treated with highly delicious grapes, and the other monkey with inferior cucumbers. At first, the monkey who was treated with cucumbers was fine with his “payment” and accepted the cucumbers with joy, as it was food. Only as he witnessed, that his colleague got something better (delicious grapes), he refused to fulfill the task, as a value system was created, and he felt treated unequably.
Granted, one might say that taste is highly subjectively, but our currencies introduced to objectify trade, instead of us having to estimate the ratio of how many sea shells are worth a wolverine fur, don’t have a definite value either. 100€ in Switzerland are worth far less, than 100€ in Kenya, and even in the same country it depends on other factors what this money will get you.
If you were asked to pay 100€ for a glass of tap water, even in a fancy restaurant, you would probably ask the manager if he’d gone nuts…but somewhere in the dessert with you parching, paying 100€ for some precious drops of water wouldn’t bother you a lot.
Hence, forget about all the should be objective metrics when it’s about your personal self-esteem and wellbeing.
Stop giving a fuck
There is pretty much an infinite number of things you can compare yourself to an infinite number of people (well, okay, only about 7.3 billion, though that’s still a lot). We might as well reduce our fucks to give, and focus on our own wellbeing and success by our own standards.
Become aware of your own success. Not matter what you are doing, no matter if professional or “just” as a hobby, you have an unique background with unique skills and experiences. When I last visited a good friend, he was playing the guitar and told me to not expect too much, as he didn’t play for a long time. Apparently, he was comparing himself to professional musicians, because in my opinion he aced the songs.
Others may be envious of you. When I told my friend that I really enjoy listening to him playing, at first he didn’t believe me when I told him I was envious. Heck, even though I own a guitar I once bought because I thought girls would dig it, I can’t play a single song. There surely are lots of things others might be envious about you.
Don’t get obsessed by benchmarks. Sometimes, it’s good to have others as benchmarks. In terms of this blog, it might be audience, user interaction, and klicks. Looking at other similar blogs not only inspires and motivates me, but also shows me how long it took them to get where they are now. From time to time that’s nice to know and certainly can act as a guideline to check if I’m completely off track or heading in a wrong direction. However, as we try to create our unique life path, and want to excel at our own set goals, we can’t just copy someone else and hope for it to work out. Some are way more talented and thereby faster learners, which could demotivate us, or others might perform quite poorly, which could lead us to lean back and become lazy.
If you need to compare, compare with yourself. In the end, the only (and biggest) source of competition is yourself. When you’re working on achieving something great, there might be days where you get the feeling of not having achieved anything, but the truth is day by day we build our lives, and if you really practiced and still get the feeling of not improving, rest assured your future self will be happy about you did, as you might not feel the improvement instantaneously, but certainly in the future. Not to mention that we shouldn’t be too hard with ourselves :).
Keep in mind: the grass is not always greener on the other side, people only share what they want others to see from them, and don’t forget to take it easy from time to time.
P.s: if you want to feel better, here I am, looking like a fat fuck.