• Ibiyemi Balogun

The grass is brown! Well, maybe lime green….. Let’s talk about comparison culture why don’t we.

Updated: Nov 22, 2020


If we all checked our Instagram consumption, we will see that on average we are spending about 3-4 hours a day just scrolling through the feed and worst of all Instagram stories!! Cue the FOMO…..I want to talk about what this does to us subconsciously and ultimately affects how we see ourselves.

I had a friend ask me recently after going through the blog if I would consider shortening the length of my posts so that it would be more “marketable” or so that more people would read to the end….and to that, I politely said, "nah, I'm not really interested in creating a following". The point of this blog is really for me to chronicle my thoughts out loud, aka an online journal….so if people read it and can resonate that’s amazing, if they don’t that’s also fine. I remember also fielding conversations from others about engagement numbers and changing titles to catch attention etc. and to that, I simply thought I am not a brand though, I am a human being and for me, it’s not about becoming popular or growing a business it’s about learning. We are all on a journey of learning, and we don’t always have to follow the crowd because the reality is everyone is just trying to figure out what works for them!

Back to the comparison culture; I think it stems from not fully appreciating who you are as an individual. Unfortunately, this sometimes starts from a lack of understanding of who you are, to begin with. This lack of understanding has caused so much pain & confusion to young people especially those growing up with social media. Growing up, I was always the “really good friend” the reliable one, the one you could count on to come through, the one that would listen, the friendly one – my motto was “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”. Although these are all great qualities, I didn’t realize that I was basing my identity on my ability to be a good friend, sister, daughter, etc., and basing it on things I “did” for people and not necessarily who I was as a person. I was effectively defining myself by what other people could get out of me and because I am naturally generous/giving, I didn’t think anything of it. The problem with that thought process is if someone was angry at me or they didn’t “need” what I wanted to give then I effectively had no purpose ….YIKES!!! (maybe that’s why I was attracted to guys with plenty of problems, that I could “fix” 👀 _ladies am I right?). When I came to that realization, it was like a gut punch.......however, I have learned not to dwell in that place, but to learn from it, forgive myself for not knowing, and move forward. The breakthrough didn’t come until I really understood God’s love for me, and the identity he gave me. This allowed me to understand that I am inherently valued, and I don’t have to prove myself to have this value – but that’s another blog post.

I promise, I’m going get to comparison culture hahaha, I want to quickly detour to talk about how we see ourselves; Trust me it will all make sense in a second! *hopefully*. I was watching a Ted Talk recently called “the art of being yourself” and I got a weird revelation, although I didn’t necessarily agree with everything she said. She talked about how the most influential people in the world have 1 thing in common and it was the fact that they had nothing in common, they were uniquely themselves. She talked about the Ego and how most people fall into 1 of 2 categories; they either have a superiority complex – “I'm better than so and so” or an inferiority complex “ I’m less than/ not good enough or I am going to be found out” and then she said no matter which way you look at it, both are signs of a fragile ego! One suffers from delusions of grandeur and the other delusions of insignificance….and at this point, I had to stop the video for a second 😅😅..... I think we as a society view issues with ego differently depending on our own perspectives, however, what people forget to tell you is that it kinda sucks on both ends….. on one hand, it’s a mental struggle to have low self-esteem in this social media age of seemingly “perfect people” BUT it is also just as HAAAAAARD to keep up appearances like you got it like that when everything is falling apart *awks*…. Honestly, this is one of the reasons why I choose to be vulnerable on this blog to mostly remind myself that this life is a “pot of beans life” or as Canadians would say “it’s a mixed bag” lol aka you win some you learn some. So, I say all that to simply say you might as well be your truest self because as cliché as it sounds “everybody else is taken”. If you are like me when I didn’t know who I was, try your best to find out what that looks like.

My dear roommate showed me a different perspective when it comes to this grass analogy. She said that everyone starts with grass that was passed down to them aka your privileged or lack of it. I then added my 2 cents by simply saying, it is now up to you to nurture it, pull out the weeds, plant new grass, water it, cut it, but whatever you do, don’t burn it to the ground and use Astroturf 😂 😂. The point is, as long as you are focusing on your OWN grass, you will be fine! Just make sure to do mini-check-ins with yourself. You can start by asking yourself some of these questions....

…..how am I doing?

……how do I feel towards myself?

……what are my true motivations for applying for that new job? do I really want it, or do I just see everyone on Instagram celebrating a new job?

…… why am I starting a business? Is there a need for this side hustle? or is it because everyone’s Instagram bio has founder @?

……. Why I am entertaining or getting into a relationship with a "man child" that looks good on the gram but has no substance? Is this because of #couplegoals?

……. Why am I part of this “support group” aka weird communities of “struggle”? Do you really identify with the struggle? (true story, about 2 years ago, I saw an Instagram page focused on “loving your stretch marks because they show growth and strength” meanwhile in my head, I’m like “I’ve never even thought that stretch marks were a “thing” to be worried about so did I really need a “support group”?).

Just remember that it goes BOTH ways; on one hand, you can envy people’s success and on the other hand, you can ALSO belong to a “struggle community” that you actually don’t belong to.

All I’m saying is focus on you and what God has called you to do! Your purpose does NOT look like anyone else’s even if you do the same thing, work in the same field, impact the same communities, yours is different because YOU are different. Also, take comfort in knowing that literarily no one knows anything about anything 😂. 😂. 😂. cue COVID19 and this year we call 2020. Did I even get to comparison? I don’t know hahaha hopefully you got some gems and if not, well that’s ok too.

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