A perfect vacation, with turquoise blue water, great food, ideal looks and unbeatable company. Who doesn’t dream of it? The summer travel season is here, and with it the most sought-after clichés on social networks, and therefore the inevitable comparison of our life with that of others. But, to what extent is everything we see on social media fact or fiction? According to Aída Rubio, director of the Psychology and Health Psychology Department of TherapyChat, a leading online psychology platform, “sometimes social media can be used as a mechanism to avoid a reality that we are not so satisfied with. It would be part of a self-deception, but a self-deception that allows us to be that “me” that we want. Additionally, as human beings, we are very vulnerable to the need to seek social approval. It is a very adaptive mechanism if used well, since it allows us to be accepted into a group and thus obtain protection against death threats ”.
Unfortunately, if this need for approval is mismanaged, it can guide our lives, and social media promotes it. Since its boom, it seems that part of our self-esteem is built through these platforms, depending on the number of likes and comments we receive. It is not enough to know that you are having a good time in private, or to be beautiful because of the brunette he is fucking. We need others to tell us, to make it happen, and thus position ourselves on the scale of social desirability.
When the need for approval and the search for positioning on the scale of social desirability become a difficult problem to deal with, comparison emerges, among so many other feelings. “Social comparison is an inevitable psychological phenomenon. There are many ways to manage it, one that encourages us in a healthy way to move towards positive goals; and another which makes us want to and which is undoubtedly a weapon against ourselves, leading to the frustration of not having what the other is doing, ”explains Aída Rubio. In the context of vacations, comparisons via social networks can lead us to establish decontextualized beliefs, giving us access to too much private information without any criteria. In addition, we take the risk of comparing ourselves to something that does not directly exist, since, at the very least, what we show on the networks is the best part of our lives and our travels.
In order to make positive use of social media and not fall into the negative comparison, enjoying the vacations that everyone has, TherapyChat brings together a series of practical tips that you can start right now:
Come back to the present with the 5 senses. Every time your mind (or your hands) goes to the mobile, stimulate your 5 senses. What do you see? What do you smell What do you taste? What are you listening to? What do you feel? Appreciate it. What you perceive is the only reality present. Meditating Meditation is a very good exercise that not only helps us in the short term to connect with the present, but also exerts changes in us in the long term, helping us to live in a more connected way to the here and now. . Show gratitude. Instead of looking at others, bring it back to you and have a grateful attitude towards life for all that you are, have, and have accomplished. Write down anything you feel grateful for and happy for, and always take it with you to remember in times of need. It puts the message of the networks into perspective. When you are tempted to compare yourself to someone else, do the exercise of imagining what their life really looks like, what problems they have, what dreams they haven’t realized, what their insecurities are, and what characters in the network they are with. may compare and feel bad about it. That is, he humanizes that person. You cannot compare someone’s exterior, or what they want to show, with your whole being (strengths and weaknesses included). Think about what makes you happy. Happiness is made up of small everyday details, not big specific events such as vacations. Write down what makes you happy and think: Would it compensate you to go on vacation to the place of your dreams in exchange for all that disappears?
As in almost all aspects of life, there is a double face and a positive and not at all distorted use of social media. The limit is in everyone. It’s a personal question of how you feel about the trip and your vacation in this case, how you use the networks and why you do it.