I have a confession to make…
I am ADDICTED to Instagram.
Not addicted like, “I can’t stop taking selfies every two hours because my hair looks too good right now.” But addicted because I CANNOT STOP looking at the pictures of other people’s lives. Seriously. Seeing the different pictures, from close friends to bloggers to celebrities, I look at them and think, “Man, they all have such cool lives. I wish…”
And when those two words, I wish… pop into my head, that’s when things get dangerous. That comparison game that I seem to bring up in almost EVERY. SINGLE. POST. emerges yet again and here comes the list…
…I could dress like her.
…I could travel like they do.
…live in that area.
…have a life like this person.
And slowly my gratitude and contentment with where I am begins to fade. That awful thought creeps into my mind: I wish I wasn’t who I am. Or even I wish I didn’t have the life I have right now.
Bria walked into her room one day, gazing at her cell phone. I was sprawled on her bed, just trying to relax (I couldn’t do it in my room because Taylor was blaring Latin music, and I didn’t wanna tell her to turn it off just so I could sit in some silence).
And as Bria stood there, looking at her cell phone, she told me and her roommate about this article she was reading about how Instagram ruins the self-image. How it’s even worse than magazines. How people are so obsessed about how many people follow them, like their pictures, or comment about how awesome they look and such.
At first when she said it, I just shrugged it off because I thought, “Yeah, there are days when I think I look worse than I could, but overall my self-image is pretty good. And I could care less how many people like my photos…although if Vic Fuentes or anyone else like that likes my pictures, I am SO FREAKIN’ HAPPY.” But as I continued thinking, I recognized how Instagram had been my latest addiction and then I asked myself, “Why?”
Well, I liked looking at pictures. Everyone has different things going on in each of their lives. Some go on tours across the country. Others are able to walk the streets of NYC. Another person gets to attend lots of concerts, while the other has posted their #ootd (“Outfit Of The Day”). It’s all so fascinating.
But I start to lose myself in all of the posts, pictures, selfies, and hashtags.
I become ungrateful for where I’ve been placed, what I’ve been given, the people who surround me. I start to wonder how I could get my life to look so put-together like everyone else on Instagram. What should I change about what I wear, what I do, who I hang out with? What filter would make the life I’m living look cooler than it actually is?
And, in a way, it is tearing down my self-image. I’m looking at the life that God has given me and telling Him, “Nah, I don’t want it. I’d rather have that over there.” How selfish is that?
I was also reminded of how not everyone will be famous or do something really big here on this earth, but how even the smallest thing matters in bringing glory to God and working for His kingdom. So I don’t have to become a famous writer or even a writer at all to glorify God. I can glorify Him now, while I’m attending college up on a mountaintop, blogging the lessons I’ve been learning as I’m just, as Bria would say, “interacting with life.”
And so, on my Twitter and Instagram bios, is this phrase: “Rock what you got.” I’m promoting the fact that my life is still a life even if it isn’t spent on a Fiji island or skateboarding through a big city or going from concert to concert every week.
So, I will be grateful for what I have, and not compare my life to other people’s lives. Because God gave me the life that I have for a reason.
I’ll also try not to be scrolling through Instagram too much. It’s cool to look at and like pictures from other people, it’s not cool to think that they are “living the life” and I am not.
Is there something in your life that makes you compare yourself to others? Maybe, like me, it’s envying people on Instagram or maybe it’s seeing how many followers someone has on their blog or Twitter. Maybe it’s something as simple as watching your neighbor drive her fancy car into her driveway or seeing your best friend with an iPhone while all you have is an Android. Whatever it is, I encourage you to be grateful for what God has given you. Your life is special. Unique. Unlike anyone else’s. So don’t take it for granted. Be content with where you are right now. And rock what you got! 🙂