Our Comparison Culture

How many personal problems could be solved if we just stopped comparing ourselves to others? I mean, I don't think it's a good suggestion to tell someone to "stop caring what other people think." We're not sociopaths; we're SUPPOSED to compare ourselves to our environment or we would be unable to adapt adequately.

Imagine someone with no social acuity who would say seemingly random things when you're attempting deep conversation with them.. It's not really a standard we should aspire to.

But, still, I wonder how many people suffering with depression, for example would be able to relieve their symptoms. Young people growing up are going to have a lot of difficulties.. they'll go on social media and see how "accomplished" their friends are. How much happier, how much more popular, etc. It's like the drama of middle/high school will be inescapable in ways I didn't experience as a kid.

I'm not depressed now.. but perhaps I could have been diagnosed with depression in high school (around the time Facebook became a thing.) I was never popular and spent a lot of time on the internet; there were no iPhones and a decent laptop was fairly rare.

Now everyone has access to the internet. All the time! There are some awesome things about that but there are a lot of truly terrible, fake things about it too

As I grow older, I begin to realize that often those who put the MOST effort into their social media appearance (no offense to anyone; just a general observation not a judgement on you) are the most unhappy and insecure in real life. I mean... 99.9% of the people I know with EXPENSIVE flashy cars and clothing can't actually afford them!!! Talk about some serious internal conflict while presenting a successful, happy shell!

This place is a trap! In many ways; this is all just an awful, awful trap. I'll sit here comparing myself to you, who is comparing themselves to someone else, who is comparing themselves to someone else... and at the end of the day.. what is there for us to show about who WE are?

How powerful and life altering would it be if Kim Kardashian stood up in front of us, NO makeup, and said

"My ass isn't even real. My life is really depressing in a lot of ways and despite all of what I've accomplished in life.. I feel empty. I even lie about my age to appear more successful than I really am. I was born well-connected.. the rest of the world will never have the chance to become who I am; but I'll contribute to the illusion that it's possible... because it makes me feel valuable and we all aspire to feel valuable. I perpetuate the lie of what's possible in life and it haunts me; but without me our culture would fall apart."

But again.. there's no escape. I'm not going to go into my next job interview wearing a red clown wig, gothic eyeliner, and a Sonic the Hedgehog shirt with no pants (mannnn that would be so awesome though!.) Our ability to compare and adapt shows our social competence; it shows others we're well adapted and trust worthy.

Sigh. I just sometimes wish people had more courage to be who they really are. Myself included. I don't think we need to be told to be different.. but I'm telling everyone please, be different! We need more of that.

To actually relate this to singing.. while I really enjoy and respect singers like Beyonce or Arianna Grande, I will never listen to their albums. I want someone pushing the boundaries; someone who isn't afraid to be real with us. Someone who doesn't lip-sync so often that you have no real conception of how talented they really are. Someone raw.

That's who I aspire to be.