When Social Media Makes You Feel “Less Than”
It was like any Sunday evening.. kids were in bed, I was winding down, and Instagram was being scrolled. As I scrolled through, I saw a couple friends post about ‘Friendsgiving’ and how fun it was. I instantly sank. I’m talking, before I finished even reading the post, my heart dropped. “Why didn’t I get invited to any Friendsgivings this weekend?” And after wallowing for about 5 minutes, I realized something..
I have friends! So, I sent my girls a text and said “want to do Thanksgiving food for our meal Wednesday?” And within seconds one had responded, “Yes! I was having major FOMO seeing all these Friendsgiving posts!”
Ya’ll!! Why?! Why do we let our minds go crazy and wreck our spirits when its just filling us with lies? 2 of us had been feeling the exact same “less than” feeling and you know how we solved it.. we just scheduled the event we felt left out of! That simple. And to be fair, these Friendsgivings were people and groups I wouldn’t have been invited to be with anyway because it was Sunday School classes, workout groups, and other groups I am not even a part of haha. So here I was feeling sorry for myself about something I had no chance of being invited to instead of just hanging out with real-life friends. Social media can lead your mind to some crazy places.
Here’s another realization I had – how many of us scroll and feel “less than” throughout the course of a day? With 3 kids, I don’t aimlessly scroll much anymore. But don’t get me wrong, any time I let myself go into “deep scroll mode,” you know the kind, where you’re 19 pages away from the person you started on, I usually have a “less than” thought somewhere in there. And social media is great because you don’t even have to KNOW the person you feel less than! What in the actual world? Who are we? Again, our mind can go to crazy places thanks to the world of Facebook and Instagram.
I’m not one of those that thinks social media is all bad. I see value in it for certain areas and I even love to over-gram my kids and life because they are obviously the only kids to ever walk, talk, or say cute things 😉 But I do think it’s gotten a little nuts how we can let our self worth be based on a fleeting post from someone simply sharing their lives.
After I went down the “less than” road because some friends had plans that I didn’t, I started thinking about my actual reality. I have friends. GOOD friends. Friends that love me and my family fiercely and would be the perfect “Friendsgiving” friends. But one of them just had a baby. Two live in a different city and state. Three have the perfect situation and are the ones I texted. And multiple others we’re doing something after Thanksgiving. So here I was throwing myself a pity party instead of just “liking” the picture and moving on. Sometimes life doesn’t end up like an episode of New Girl where all the friends come together and end the night reminiscing on the couch. And thank goodness that’s ok. Sometimes you have deep friendships, but those friendships don’t overlap so a “Friendsgiving” would ACTUALLY be awkward (we’ve all been there.. not every friend clicks instantly. It’s ok.)
So as we approach the holidays and your news feeds start blowing up with Friendsgivings and other festive party pictures, don’t let social media win. You’re not “less than” if you don’t have a perfectly planned dinner with friends. And you’re not wrong if you do! Some years it will work out, some years it won’t. But before you count yourself out, text a friend or 2 and you might be surprised you’re not alone in that FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling that’s crept in. Then pour a glass of wine in sweat pants or a party dress and invite a couple friends over.