The Social Media Comparison Game and How to Beat It

Photography: Deanna Kourtney Photography

Outfit Details:

Sweater (Lizard Thicket Greenville) similar style here | Jeans

Boots  (under $40!)| Sunglasses | Purse

The Comparison Game

Gucci Belts. Fairy Lights. Goldendoodles. These are all things I considered buying this year in the name of Instagram. Sure you can try staying off of social media, but you can’t really do that when it’s your job! I’ve been sitting on this post for days because I didn’t want to admit how this hits so close to home. It’s very easy in an environment like blogging or even just as a typical consumer of social media to compare yourself to others.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” and we all know that to be true. I’m not talking about in the competitive aspects of how studying people in your industry can help you be a better brand. I’m talking about focusing on the superficial moments that affect your mentality. “How do they get their hair perfect EVERY time?” “Where do they find the money to go on trips to fun places. Wish that could be me.” “Why am I still stuck at X amount of followers when she started blogging after me?”

The feelings of self-doubt kept growing stronger and I knew I didn’t want to be on this path again in my life. When I was in middle school and high school I struggled with self-esteem and comparison constantly. It would always come in waves and of course, it was immediately interrupted when I was reminded that I was pretty… for a black girl. Or reminded that I was the friend who was invited just because I was friends with the most popular girls in school. I hated feeling that way. Like I wasn’t good enough and that no matter how hard I worked to get noticed, it would never be enough in comparison.

I wish I had some special eureka moment to share when I finally got it, but I don’t. There was just a time right before college when I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t have to live this way. It’s draining keeping a pulse on what everyone else is doing. Why would I want to waste my energy on something that’s not ultimately helping me to become a better person or better my future? College is honestly when I learned to stop giving people my joy. (#RECLAIMINGMYTIME lol) It’s only when you start focusing on your own goals and opportunities that you can really shine.

We Need to Work On Our Authenticity

In the blogging world, comparison is the reason why the market has become so inauthentic. People are buying followers, comments, and likes or participating in loop giveaways every week. And for what? Some number to flaunt to strangers to prove superiority? If we’re not careful, this can end like a creepy Black Mirror episode. When it comes down to it, being fake does nothing for bloggers in the long haul. 2018 marketing trends will push for more diverse, content creators to make videos, podcasts, and to be more genuine with their followers. Those girls with the perfect feeds who have the personality of a potato will hardly last.

If you’re trying to be the boss babe that I know you can be, it shouldn’t matter how other people are approaching their business. Stay. In. Yo. Lane. Use that time and energy to work on creating something that can really benefit your followers and put back something useful in this world. For me, that means sharing stories just like this one. Unapologetically opening up about my insecurities and how even though I’m stronger now, I still struggle with them. I’m guilty of a few controversial blogger growth tactics like loop giveaways, the follow/unfollow method, and comment pods. It kind of makes me sick to even know I tested them out. Maybe instead of worrying about the quantities of followers, we should’ve been focusing on the quality of our content.

Here are 3 Ways to avoid Comparison on Social Media:

1. Unfollowing Toxic People: That can mean anyone who makes me feel these moments of inadequacy or those who are just there to waste your time and not support you. When I first started blogging, I actually avoided following repost accounts and RewardStyle because I never saw women who looked like me. Fill your feed with inspiration and not the false, aspirational narratives of others.

2. Having Honest Conversations with Yourself: If I want to have x amount of followers is it because I want to reach more people for Christ as a brand or because another blogger just hit that same goal. If it’s the latter, I need to find ways to do it for ME. Understanding the reasoning behind our decisions as bloggers are so important.

3. Community Over Competition. Always:  I found a quote on Instagram recently that says, “Don’t compare yourself to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon; they shine in their own time.” It’s ok to support other women and still be hustling for your own dream. Empowered women, empower women. Right, ladies?

It’s easy to fall into the social media comparison game and envy other people’s highlight reels. We’re all works in progress and that’s ok! I can already tell 2018 is a year for mental and spiritual growth for me. If you struggle with comparison, let me know how you hope to fix it this year below!

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26 Responses to The Social Media Comparison Game and How to Beat It

  1. Jemima says:

    I honestly needed to read this at this time. I have been drowning in the sea of “would I ever be like this person and would I ever be good enough or fine enough?” I’m great now.

  2. Makeda says:

    This was a great read! I definitely have to remind myself of this every day. I love empowering other women and I’m so proud to see people rise. But then I always think to myself, what am I doing wrong? So I love the perspective. Everyone’s different and at different points in their journey. Thanks for this!

  3. Sara says:

    When I feel sucked into the comparison game I just take step back, shut down the Gram, and focus on what I can do to make positive changes in the coming days that will make ME better and happier!

    xo, Sara
    Sara recently posted…Oversized Lavender Sweater with Crochet Detail, Layering Tank + 20% Discount CodeMy Profile

  4. Victoria says:

    this is such a good post – the comparison game is rough! gotta keep doing you!


  5. Amanda says:

    This post totally hit the nail on the head! It can definitely be hard to not compare yourself to others in the blogging world, but I’ve come to realize that there are always going to be those who have more followers than me, better hair than me, better wardrobes than me hehe. I love your message about doing things for you… and that’s what I’m going to keep on doing.

  6. Megan says:

    This is something I struggle with daily! I got to the point where I would never check instagram because I would scroll through and just compare myself to others. We just have to realize that there’s only one of you and you stay true to that!

    Megan |
    Megan recently posted…Conquering Your FearsMy Profile

  7. Laura says:

    Such a great post!! SO happy that you decided to post it. I love all your tips and it’s so true that comparison is the thief of joy. It is so hard to compare but when you focus on you great things happen!

    xo, Laura

  8. Maggie says:

    “comparison is the reason why the market has become so inauthentic.” YES!! To this! It has become to easy to compare yourself in blogging now days. I try so hard not to get into it, but it can be so hard! I agree you just need to focus on yourself.
    Maggie recently posted…Classic Black PeacoatMy Profile

  9. Candace says:

    Rewardstyle only recently started featuring WOC, and it was only after I sent them a nasty email telling them how diverse they were not. I didn’t know what to say when I saw my picture posted on their feed. I thought the world was ending!
    Candace recently posted…Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Mattemoiselle at Sephora Inside JCPenneyMy Profile

    • You’re right. Same thing happened with me! I think they didn’t want a Revolve situation on their hands. I’m happy they’re doing it but it’s sad that it took so much pushing and convincing to make it happen! You might want to check out my other post about diversity in fashion blogging, too. :)

  10. I definitely did the comment pods before I realized not only was it WAY time consuming (like a second job), but I found myself in pods with people that didn’t post things I was interested in commenting on. I’m actually planning to post something similar to your post soon talking about how I recently purged my instagram following of accounts that weren’t inspiring me to be a better me, either because I didn’t relate to their content or they were accounts I followed long ago when I was also doing the comparison game wondering if too, like you, needed to hit up the high end consignment store for my very own Gucci belt. During a recent (my first actually) SoulCycle class the amazing instructor said the very thing that caused me to take an Instagram/blog pause to focus and find my authentic self … she said, “Don’t get caught up in comparing your real life to someone else’s virtual life on Instagram. Just like them, we choose what we put out into the word and if you’re comparing to the things you don’t have, you’re not out there living your best life to obtain the things meant for you”. It totally sunk in and from this I learned to stop chasing the things that make me unhappy and surround myself with the things that motivate me. I’m hooked to SoulCycle now … of course.

    • That’s a wise soul cycle instructor!! And the comment pods are sooo draining. And it’s not even bringing in an outside audience! I’m glad you’re finding the right kind of inspiration now!

  11. This post is SO TRUE! I love how you’re being open with the struggle and offering real ways that can help us not fall into this comparison trap! Thank you so much for sharing and being real! I love it!!

  12. Danielle says:

    LOVE #2 and think that is so, so important. Great post girl!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  13. Josie says:

    Tomi, I have also been struggling with most of these points too!! There are a few bloggers that I helped get them started on their feet when they had less than 1k followers and now they are all surpassing me (4K) because they decided to do the loop giveaways!! When I see their number sometimes I get discouraged because I’m like wth I’ve been blogging 2 years & REALLY trying to grow as organically as I can and here they are getting products from high end designers, and the infamous NYX email!! At these times where I feel extremely frustrated, I just have to think about what I’ve achieved as a blogger in the 2 years and be proud of my own accomplishments and just be excited for what’s to come!! Thanks for sharing this post, knowing that I’m not alone! I love following you! Keep up the amazing work Tomi!! 👏🏾👏🏾

    • I don’t know about the email but I share your frustration! It stinks to put all this work in and feel like you’re still behind. But the good thing to remember is that people would even envious to be in your position right now! I’m proud of you girl! Thanks for reading xx

  14. Cecilia says:

    Tomi!!! I love this post – it is so so easy to get caught up in the comparison game, whether you’re a blogger or just use insta for fun! Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts – I absolutely love your authenticity.

    xoxo, Cecilia //

  15. Aitza B says:

    This so much! Sometimes I think “had I been more consistent, I could’ve been doing X”, but then I remember my journey is unique. I’m proud of my progress and if I’m always looking back, how will I move forward.

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