In our generation, we were not introduced to social media: we were born into it and inevitably, it generated a sense of comparison that has become second nature to us. On multiple social media platforms, there are little to no restrictions on what you can and cannot post. Likewise, there are also no restrictions on what can be seen. So, social media lets people reflect on the world they create it to be. Therefore, sometimes reality is completely absent, allowing “influencers’’ to build somewhat of a utopia on their social media platforms. Subconsciously, the minutes we are active online turn into hours of indulging in another person’s devised “life” seen through pictures and videos they edit and alter for others to see.
As a result of virtual mainstay, it’s difficult to be on social media and not start to latently compare our abilities or lifestyle to others. I’ve been wondering for years why we reluctantly compare, knowing the only person being harmed is ourselves. I’ve come up with the conclusion that we do it because we like what we see reflected upon our screen. We simply see something we don’t see in our daily lives.
But the thing is, what if we do? What if we have what seems like a glamorous life but are too blind to see the truth because we’re constantly seeing the “reality” someone made up on their feed?
Experiencing this kind of juxtaposition within our self-worth deprives us of what we do have. For example, it’s our own real-life, uniqueness and individuality that make us valuable. I encourage you to bring the excitement and color out of the life you have and appreciate who you are. Embrace your imperfections because as cliché as it may sound — there’s no one exactly like you — so, accept your individuality, it shines in the persona that you embellish.
Seeing these unattainable images and life as a young adult inevitably creates this pressure to wonder why we can’t have their position in life, career or body confidence. Sadly, when we have this unpleasant state of mind, we gracefully welcome self sabotage by overthinking, which can later manifest itself into symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In some cases, it’s easier to talk to people you don’t know: people who are trained professionals in dealing with intellectual strains. Fortunately, UTSA has counseling services available virtually and in-person. Thankfully, you can talk to a counselor in person; you can easily walk into the Rec Wellness Center 1.802 on the Main Campus and the staff will guide you from there. Additionally, UTSA has a partnership with My Student Support Program (MySSP) for students who prefer meeting virtually. Simply download the MySSP app and make a virtual appointment to talk to a counselor about anything.
The Wellness Center at UTSA is aware that our mental health is equally as important as our physical health. Take advantage of these services UTSA provides. Even if you’re not having a bad mental health day, it’s always nice to talk to someone. Remember that not everything that shines is gold, no matter how hard they try to depict it as so.