Social media has an important place in our everyday lives. I use it every day, and even more since the Covid-19 crisis. It became my only way to keep in contact with other people. It helped me feel less lonely as we all had to stay inside our homes. I also use social media to get inspired by other people, find new ideas and tips on different topics.
With the lockdown announcements, many content creators started developing challenges to keep people active and entertained. It was so nice! Many people I followed started doing new things, or working on new skills, and shared their journeys. I felt inspired by this. If those people could do it and make something good out of this bad situation, so could I! After all, staying at home, I would have more time, right?
I started a few challenges. At the beginning, it was nice. I was motivated, and connected with other people despite never meeting them.
But quickly, I felt overwhelmed. There were so many challenges, I did not know what to choose. Moreover, with online studying, I actually did not have that much free time. I stopped doing the challenges one after the other. On social media, people were still doing those challenges and many other things. They looked so happy, they had their lives together and were working toward becoming better persons. On my side, I was stressed because of school and the sanitary situation. I was stressed about making the most out of this strange period. Why couldn’t I do it? I felt bad and lonely, and spent more and more time on social media. And the more I saw people do different things, the more stressed I felt, and the less able I was to do anything, making me spend more time on social media. It was a vicious circle.
Social media made me feel pressured. It seemed like everyone had it all together. It looks like you HAD to become a new person during the lockdown. And people made it look all so easy, some even saying that you have no excuses to not work on yourself now.
When life started going back to normal, the pressure was still here. People were doing such amazing things. And I was here, at home, barely managing to study and do some physical activity during the week. I was ashamed, anxious, and started isolating myself.
I started seeing a therapist, because I felt very bad about my current situation. Nothing was going well. Talking about it with someone new helped me see things from a different perspective. That person also reminded me that people choose what they show online: they show mostly the nice parts. But they probably have down moments, too, like me.
I also stopped going on social media for several days to focus again on myself. Instead of looking at what others were doing, I thought about what I truly wanted to do and started taking steps toward my goals without wanting to prove anything to anyone. When I started going on social media again, I stopped following accounts that made me feel bad about myself.
Now I am feeling better, I know to stay critical about what I see online and to focus on myself. It is still hard sometimes not to compare myself to others’ seemingly “perfect lives”, but I now have tools to use in such moments.

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