It’s no secret that a lot of the time we spend online is spent looking at what other people are doing. And the majority of us have gone one step further, too.
Hands up if you’ve ever trawled the internet worrying about how you compare to one or all of the following: People you went to university with. People you went to high school with. People you went to primary school with. Family members. Best friends. Colleagues. Famous bloggers. Strangers you’ve found on the internet.
Comparing yourself to other people online is addictive. And, as long as you don’t accidentally like a profile picture from 2011, it seems fairly harmless – occasionally it can even be inspiring and motivating.
But the vast majority of the time, comparing yourself to others online not only wastes your time, but makes you feel bad about yourself too.
As the much-pinned quote says, comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be someone fitter than you, more stylish than you, more creative than you, or more successful than you. And before you know it the job you were perfectly happy with yesterday doesn’t seem worth getting up for tomorrow because that guy from uni works for a way better company than you and he must get paid more too.
So next time you find yourself with a spare few minutes or are just looking for a way to procrastinate, here are five suggestions of how to better channel your energy:
Make a list of goals – It might be for a year, a week or just a day, but it’ll keep you focussed on you, rather than worrying about what other people are doing
Make a list of what you’re thankful for – Get a more positive outlook by making a list of the things you’re grateful for or proud of, rather than the things you don’t have
Learn to meditate – In the few minutes you would have spent on your old neighbour’s Facebook profile, you could practice meditation to help clear your mind and gain focus
Move around – Walk around your house, do a few sit ups, or just go for a walk. Exercise is good for mind and body, and you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something too!
Connect with someone – Talk to people online rather than just looking in from a distance. You might meet new contacts or just catch up with an old friend, but it’s sure to be more rewarding.