(this post takes about 2.5 minutes to read)
I think in today’s selfie-dominated, social media “likes” world, it is hard to tell the real person from their on-line persona. For some people, that on-line persona is driven by a need for attention. For others, they like to tell a fable of
what their life would look like if most everything was wonderful. I am not going to write about how this impacts those people.
More importantly, how does that selfie world affect us?
“When we compare ourselves to others, we remind ourselves of our own insecurities. And that is a bad place to be.” Simon Sinek
I think Simon has it right. Trying to compare to others is unproductive. It does not get us anywhere. We often compare ourselves to something that is often unreal.
When we try to achieve a life like we see other’s, we may be shooting for a unattainable target. We need to remember that others’ on-line lives are often curated. They always seem to be having fun. They are always at the cool places. They never seem to be working. We don’t read about their car breaking down. We don’t see a picture of the broken dishes. The nights they spend at home doing nothing does not get tweeted or Instagrammed.
Think of the person in the office who always seems to have a fun weekend to talk about. Or the salesperson who talks about their sales seemingly everyday. These are often our perceptions. We forgot about the times when those individuals did NOT speak about their dull days.
Trying to match someone’s highlights only is not easy. Or advisable. As Sinek says, we only remind ourselves of our insecurities. Citing both internal and academic research, Facebook recently noted, “in general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward.”
I am wondering if that is a great idea for a New Year’s Resolution. Try to be the best version of you. #1, it is attainable. #2, the best version of you is a great gift to others. #3, it is an active attitude, not passive.
So, my Resolution for 2018 is to be a better version of me. But how do I do that? For me, it means being a better version of me – for other people. I am going to try two things specifically. One, I am going to work on realizing that I am probably not right most of the time. I make assumptions about other’s motivations, actions, intelligence all the time. Smug in the certainty of my awesomeness, I judge. I need to stop that. Second, I am going to try to be “unproductive” 1 hour a week. Anyone who knows me (and my wife and kids would attest to this) knows I like to be efficient in EVERYTHING. This passage from a post by Oliver Burkeman prompted my thinking: “One of the sneakier pitfalls of an efficiency-based attitude to time is that we start to feel pressured to use our leisure time “productively”, too.” I DO THIS! I am not sure exactly what “unproductive” looks like, but I am going to try to find it. My hope is that it will help me be a better person.
What about you? What would a better version of you look like?