5 Reminders That Social Media Isn’t Real Life And How To Stop Comparing
If you spend a lot of time on social media, it’s completely normal to find it draining or that it’s impacting your self-esteem.
Unfortunately, aside from all the benefits and fun of social media, it can be a very toxic place and it’s easy to compare yourself to the lives of the perfectly curated feeds and stories from the celebrities and influencers that you follow. But newsflash, this isn’t always real.
Obviously, you can enjoy using social media and spending (far too much) time on TikTok and Instagram, but just take everything that you see with a pinch of salt. Smartphones have become a necessity for modern life, so it’s hard to ever truly step back from social media but here are our top tips on how to stop comparing yourself to other people online and how to remember that social media isn’t real life.
Plus, students can get a 20% student discount at EE on various phones and phone plans so you can enjoy scrolling through social media while taking these tips onboard!
1. Editing apps are VERY popular
You’d be surprised by how much you can do on your phone nowadays. While traditionally you may have needed to be a photoshop whizz in order to edit your photos convincingly, apps such as Facetune and Faceapp are free (with a small fee to unlock premium features) and take all the hard work out of editing and have unfortunately made photo editing way more accessible to the average person.
While the media and magazines have always photoshopped and edited celebrity photos, thanks to the rise in popularity of photo editing apps, with just a few swipes and presets you can completely change your photos, from slimming down your figure to brightening your eyes. Some apps even completely change your face shape, add makeup and can make you look completely different.
There’s a huge chance that your favourite influencer, celebrity or even one of your friends is using these apps and the reality is the original photo they took is nothing like the one that actually made it to Instagram.
2. Filters can change everything
In a way, Instagram and Snapchat filters can be harmless. They originally started out as fun filters that can add funny graphics and cute accessories to your photos. While the quiz filters are fun and harmless, there are some filters out there that COMPLETELY change your face and how you look.
Instagram has tried to combat this, when you use a filter straight to your Instagram story viewers will be able to see what filter you’ve used and click through to try it themselves and if you post a grid photo using a filter, it will let your followers know about that too.
However, people get around this by saving the photo or video with the filter and then re-uploading, essentially bypassing the feature that shows that you’re using a filter.
The good news is, for the most part, unlike Facetune and Faceapp which subtly adjust your facial features, most filters are quite obviously filters and it’s easy to tell when someone’s using one, but you still have to see an incredibly altered version of them which can be super unhelpful if you find that you constantly compare yourself to them.
Remember that at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with using filters and if using a filter makes someone feel more confident then that’s great, but they don’t look like that in real life.
3. Follow accounts that make you feel good
First of all, if you find that Instagram is really getting you down, you can work on making it a more positive place by having a look at your following list and removing people who don’t make you feel great about yourself. Love Island and TOWIE stars may be flashing their lavish lifestyles and perfectly toned figures, but remember they’re showing us what they want us to see, not the reality of their day-to-day lives.
The Instagram account @celebface has 1.3 million followers and shows celebrity photos vs reality, exposing potential edits, different angles and pre-surgery images. While there’s no denying that doing all of these things probably makes people feel more confident about themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with getting filler or plastic surgery to correct something you’re insecure about, not everyone has the luxury of being able to do so.
Celebrities editing or creating fake lifestyles only makes everyone else feel insecure or feel pressured to alter their image, so this account is a nice reminder that not everything you see on social media is real.
4. Remember that social media is just a snapshot
Some people live for social media and enjoy sharing regular snapshots of their lives with their friends and followers. However, for the most part, people don’t always show the bad days and instead focus on creating a somewhat false reality, where everything is perfect.
Unfortunately, social media is very addictive and for some people, it can be hard to break away from over-sharing or “living for social media.” This is the concept of people doing things just for social media, such as ordering an aesthetically pleasing coffee or meal that they don’t really like just for the intention of posting it online.
If you’re scrolling through social media and think that the influencers and celebrities that you follow have perfect lives, that’s because they’re only showing you the good parts or the parts that they want you to see.
Luckily, lots of people have clocked on to this and there are plenty of smaller influencers who highlight their good and bad days to remind us all that no one’s life is perfect and what you see on social media isn’t always real.
5. Follow smaller influencers
There are a lot of smaller influencers out there who are building their platforms based on honesty rather than a fake lifestyle as some of the bigger accounts do. These influencers don’t use editing apps on their faces or bodies, post realistic try-on hauls, to show how clothes do and don’t fit and post their bad days as well as their good.
If you feel like you compare yourself a lot, try and find micro-influencers who have similar body types to you (there are definitely loads out there, with niches such as petite or tall fashion) so you can see how normal you are and how different clothing styles look like on them. It’s definitely more refreshing than seeing the overly edited brand that certain social media influencers post about and a reminder that the big accounts that dominate Instagram aren’t representative of everyone in the world.
@tatiana_baldwin This is way too realistic of a haul lol🙃 #handm #midsizefashion #tryonhaul #haul #size10haul #fashiontok #realistictryonhaul #midsizegalproblems #fyp ♬ Up Beat (Married Life) – Kenyi
Of course, no one’s suggesting that you can’t use and enjoy social media, just remember to be wary when you’re scrolling through and remember that what you’re seeing might necessarily be reality. Don’t forget to check out our EE student discount to get 20% off on various phones and phone plans so you can enjoy your time on social media and make it a more positive place!