When you’re struggling it’s almost natural to compare yourself to others, especially because you feel like you’re not meeting your own expectations so you constantly want to see what others are doing and whether you measure up against them. And Facebook has been so toxic for me because every time I would log in constantly be reminded of what I’m not doing and what everybody else is still being able to do.
And I just absolutely hated going on Facebook. And it led to so much negativity and jealousy, especially in one case where my friend– I used to dance a lot when I was younger and over the years I’ve transitioned and focused more on school and engineering. And, I mean, I did have a lot of friends who used to dance back then, who still dance today, and they’ve made a career out of it, and they’re professional dancers now. And it used to hurt to see their videos because it was a constant reminder that I gave up a career– or I gave up dancing almost.
And one day I decided I didn’t want to feel so negative, so I decided to just send a Facebook message to my friend. And I told her that I love seeing her video, and it was so exciting to see that she’s still dancing, and that it’s so great that she’s still doing this, and it’s really inspiring to see how much she’s progressed as a dancer. And at the same time I asked her what’s it like to be a dancer, I’ve always been curious to know what it would be like if I was to become a dancer.
And she reached back to me very friendly. She told me she was so excited to see what I’d been doing as well. And she told me about the struggles of being a dancer. And I told her about the struggles of engineering. And we kind of exchanged– we’d been idealizing each other’s lives so much and it’s helped us see that, oh, everybody’s struggling with no matter what you choose. It’s going to still be a struggle. And it kind of– she gave me a little bit inspiration about how I can still keep dancing and I gave her a little bit inspiration about just other things you can try to keep doing on the side. And we’re still good friends.
And now every time I see a video of hers on Facebook, I always like it, comment, and I’m so excited to see her dancing because it’s changed that attitude completely. And when I see her, I associate that with positive emotions rather than negative emotions. And it’s helped me to, yeah, just be OK with what everyone else is doing and what I’m doing in comparison.