Compare and Contrast: The negative effects of magazines, blogs, and other social media

I must be doing a great job of encouraging you to read on, given my warning label against blogs in the title. But it must be said. I have been on the internet more and more these days: updating websites, tweeting, checking out other bloggers, developing networking groups, checking in on friends, etc. And in all of this “market research” I have found how hard it is to no get sucked in to the black hole of comparative thinking.

I often have to counsel clients on the Facebook comparison. Clients come in feeling down about their life, less worthy, overwhelmed. They log onto Facebook and see all of their friends doing magnificently, looking great, having fun, loving their life. I ask them to reflect on their page: Do they have their scraggly pics up? Do they have “dead-end job” listed under their career, or do they update their status on their mental health symptoms. No.

I have recently read several blogs, critiquing fitness blogging: “Are fitness blogs actually Unmotivating?” It is the notion that all of the fitness hype, actually discourages us from participating in it because we feel worse that we aren’t doing it, thus creating an aversion. The only people finding motivation are those that are only doing it. Hmmmm.

From time to time, I question my life path, wondering if I was really meant to be a yogi living on a beach. I really romanticize the idea. Good morning sun sals with the rising sun, pick my breakfast from the tree, teach a couple of classes, and come home to my simple abode while sipping a glass of wine and watching the sun set. Oh and I have a good tan (with no concerns of damage), amazing skin, and my hair looks better with salty and humid air. Here’s why this doesn’t work:

  • I always need a challenge in life
  • I like being a therapist
  • I don’t really like sand. Especially in the house
  • I would get bored
  • I want kids and in all practicality they wouldn’t fit in my beach hut on my leisure yogi salary
  • I like nice things (in moderation) and wouldn’t be able to afford them
  • As much as I want to be, I am not a nomad
  • My hair reacts VERY adversely in tropical locale

Yet, this occasional fantasy haunts me from time to time. It is usually when I am under- or overwhelmed with some aspect of my life which causes me to ask, “Is this the life, I want to live?” The answer: Often very complicated and convoluted. I find myself wondering why it has to be so complicated. Why can’t I just really simplify it? I think it’s because a beach yogi isn’t my ultimate life goal. I really just want to achieve the path that I am on. But that’s so much harder, right?!

However, when I read various bloggers of sunsets and yoga retreats in Costa Rica, I find myself questioning myself and my life. I read of things that are presented so simply. As if fulfilling one’s destiny is a whimsical train of thought. It’s just not. So when reading about the lives of others, remember that they are on the same twisted journey that you are with several highs, lows, and unknowns.


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