In the last few years, there has been lots of talk about the dangers of social media for our well-being, and for the psychological health of our children. Turns out, that spending hours on our devices can actually have a negative effect on us.
Tech leaders like Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs have revealed their rules for smartphone usage for their kids. They’ve actually delayed their children’s access to smartphones and been intentional about limiting how much they use technology.
Christian leaders like Shaunti Feldhahn write and speak about the social media comparison trap and FOMO (fear of missing out). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that constantly seeing photos of other people online leads us to be in a perpetual state of comparison.
If you’d like a fail-proof way to sow disappointment into your marriage, comparing yourself, your relationship, and your spouse to what you see online is a sure way to do so. Here are a few ways to guard against comparison in your marriage.
1. Check Yourself
Take a cue from those tech leaders—restrict the amount of time you spend online. Notice how your time spent online affects your mood, your behavior and your beliefs.
If you notice more negativity in any of these areas during or after consuming online content, decide to replace it with another activity. Instead of going online, try going for a walk into your backyard, a trip to the mailbox, or a phone call to your spouse or a loved one.
Ask yourself: What can I trade for my social media time that would bring me joy?
2. Remember Yourself
Intellectually, we know that everyone is different. We all have our own battles. We know that for every perfect picture on social media, there is likely a daily struggle.
Yet somehow viewing another’s perfect, whitewashed living room with spouse and child playing angelically on the floor exaggerates how our lives are different and therefore must be less than.
Remember that there are moments in your life that others would think are perfect if they saw them. There are blessings in your life, big and small, that you must remember. Be grateful for what you have instead of envying the lives of others.
3. Celebrate Yourself
If you’re going to spend time on social media, use that time to celebrate yourself, your marriage, your life, your love, your children. Post positive things about yourself and others.
Your marriage will benefit immensely from sharing the small wins, celebrations, and positive events of the day with each other. It’s too easy to word-vomit the frustrations of the day to your spouse, which could begin to erode communication and respect in your relationship.
Remember what went right each day or each week, and celebrate those things with your spouse.
Avoid the Comparison Trap
The comparison trap has been snaring men and women since the beginning. But there’s never been a time in history when we’ve had such overwhelming access to the inner workings of others’ lives.
Try to remember, that the story of your marriage and your family is unique and different—expertly crafted by a loving Father who orders your steps. Don’t fall into that trap.
How do you fight against comparing yourself to others online?
Jennifer Wilder is the Digital Content Marketing Manager for SHERPA Global, and the former Digital Strategy Manager for Orange. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Nathan.
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