How to Avoid Social Media Comparison on Valentine’s Day
By: Tajiya Holland
Social media platforms’ greatest benefits are providing access and connection to people globally. Although they are part of our daily lives, usage can be harmful regarding mental health. Social comparison is a form of sociological self-esteem.
It’s when we obtain our sense of self by comparing ourselves to other people. The problem is that social media, for most people, is a highlight reel of the best-looking moments of their lives. Not many people post their bad days and hard times. Therefore comparing yourself to unrealistic standards can lead to low self-esteem.
How social media can negatively impact Valentine’s Day:
When Valentine’s Day comes around, we anticipate the romantic content that inevitably appears on our timelines—jewelry ads, chocolates, and an endless scroll of bouquets and loving couples.
Valentine’s day is a celebration of love which is a positive thing, so how does social media negatively affect the occasion?
- Whether you’re single or in a relationship, social media can add a bit of pressure or stress to this day.
- Seeing others display their affection can feel like the whole world is screaming “you’re alone.”
- If you celebrated with someone in past years, it can be a reminder of painful loss, an ugly breakup, romantic failures, or divorce.
- The holiday can also heighten the effects of seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D).
- For those in a relationship, expectations for expensive affairs like reservations, outfits, gifts, and picture-perfect moments can create urgency and stress.
How to avoid comparison on Valentine’s Day:
It is normal to want to be in a different or better situation, yet it’s important to keep perspective. If Valentine’s Day takes a toll on you mentally and emotionally, here are a few ways to avoid pressure and comparison:
- Skip it: Treat this holiday like any other day.
- Stay off of social media apps: Avoid the love triggers and watch a comedy or a thriller rather than a romance movie.
- You’re not alone: Remember many people are going through and feeling similar things.
- Spend time with people you love: Celebrate your friendships on Galentine’s day, FaceTime your family, mail Valentine’s Day cards to your grandparents, or spend the day exploring a new part of your city.
- Give back: Brighten someone else’s day with a custom gift basket or quality time, whether it’d be a friend that lost their significant other or a neighbor who lives alone.
- Take it easy: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make plans if you’d rather spend quality time alone. Cook a nice meal, put on a face mask, and watch your favorite reality TV show.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to play out the stereotypical sad single vs. the happily taken. Many say that “love is in the air” and it is.
Be kind to yourself whether you choose to spend the day with yourself, your friends, or your loved ones.
There’s no need to compare yourself to anyone on social media. No matter how things may seem, there is always something worth loving and celebrating in your life.