How Comparison Affects Confidence + Social Media Detox Challenge

Melanie Ferguson
Episode 74: How Comparison Affects Confidence + Social Media Detox Challenge

Listen on: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcasts

This week I’m chatting about social media and how it affects us. I’m diving into how spending hours of our precious time online can lead to so many disappointments as well as our loss of time. Specifically, how comparison can lead to lack of confidence and lack of confidence can lead to a negative outlook and sometimes an early burnout.

Towards the end of our time together, I share a little challenge with you. A social media detox challenge where you can strive to spend less time weekly on the apps that enslave us. I cannot wait to hear from you in the comments below if you try this and how it worked for you!

How Comparison Affects Confidence

Listen in as I share with you how:

  • Comparison is the thief of joy, but also the thief of confidence
  • Spending time on “Other People’s Content” is stealing time from yourself
  • Comparison plays a role in depression
  • Challenge yourself to spend less time on social media

Social Media Detox Challenge

Go into your iPhone and check your screen time. The goal is to reduce this percentage by 25%. It’s totally doable. It helps to add “app limits” by following the steps below. Each day when you reach the time limit you set up for that app you will get a notice and can extend the time if needed.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How subconsciously watching other content creators affects our business
  • Where to spend your time online wisely
  • What you need to do to protect your time
  • How to challenge yourself to a social media detox


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Complete Transcript of this Episode

This week, I am going to be sharing with you a topic that is near and dear to my heart, especially recently. So we’re going to talk about three things, really. We’re going to talk about comparison, confidence, and a challenge. So if I’ve got your curiosity, that is what I was going for.

So let’s just talk really quickly about comparison. So this week I had my very first negative comment over on YouTube. So I totally have started working on my YouTube account in March, and it’s growing and it’s doing great. And I love it over there, you guys. It’s just such a breath of fresh air. Again, most all of the comments have been super positive, and I have really enjoyed my time and my efforts and energy and success over there. So all that to say, I did have someone on there have something negative to say. Actually, you know what? I had two people say something negative this week. Oh, my word. So the first one just someone commented on a project and just their exact word for word comment was, this is ugly, this is ugly. I’m thinking, okay, that’s fine. I’m like, what do I do with this? Anyway, I just kindly said, oh, thank you. I didn’t know how to respond.

And then the other one was really nasty. They said something to the effect. They said, you totally ripped this off of another creator and especially word for word. And when you said that you are fluffing the ribbon, that was just blatant copying. Oh, my goodness. Okay, so I’m not allowed to say “fluffing the ribbon”. Listen, guys, there are some really seriously confused and sad individuals out there that are just ready to pounce on anything they can get in their little keyboard in front of. And I will tell you that even though everyone preaches all the time, don’t let it bother you. Don’t let it bother you. I know that it does. Clearly I remembered both comments word for word from this week.

But all that to say that social media is what I like to call a necessary evil. So we definitely are blessed to have it because of all of the benefits that it brings us when it comes to exposure for our businesses in the way of actually free exposure, free marketing. But we spend what I like to think of is a lot of time on there that we shouldn’t.

We spend so much time on there looking at other accounts, having our own little nasty opinions like in our heads. I’m sure none of you type out the words “this is ugly” in anyone’s comments. But you might think it, you might be scrolling and you’re like oh that’s ugly or I would never have made that or I would never have said that that way. So you in essence are comparing what you would do against them and vice versa.

So I know that I follow a lot of other accounts and I rarely have time to sit and scroll and see other people’s content, OPC “other people’s content”. But I know a lot of us do not have the time, but just we get sucked in. You get sucked in and you look up and it’s been hours and you have literally watched other people’s content for hours. Think of what you could be doing in your business with that time. But instead what it’s doing to us, it’s bringing us down.

And this is where that confidence that I want to talk about comes in. I feel like, you know, the definition of comparison is that it is the thief of joy. Comparison is the thief of joy. We know this to be true, yet we continually put ourselves in front of OPC other people’s content day in and day out and sit there and compare and we steal joy from our own lives. We steal time away from our own success and it is just a negative spiral that ultimately helps us lose our confidence. I know that when I see someone else’s account and innocent or not happen upon it or not spending a minute on it, spending an hour on it, either way I start to feel negative about myself. Is this you? Does this happen to you? Tell me. I am not alone here.

So basically when you are scrolling and you are watching other people’s content, you end up just going down a rabbit hole and you look up on the other side and you are like oh my goodness, my stuff isn’t as good as hers. Look at their content. It must be edited by a professional. Look at the way her music hits every single movement in the video. Oh my goodness, look at how many comments she got on that. Look at all of his shares on that video. You guys, I’ve only got this many shares ever. What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my content? So this sets us up for burnout. This sets us up for depression. And honestly, if you’re me, it sets you up for, oh, you know, let me see here a whole bag of Oreo cookies. Pretty much when I am feeling the pain of disappointment or low confidence, I am right there in that little pantry looking for whatever I can get my little hands on. So I will tell you that. So it’s whatever your little necessary evil is that you go to your goto thing and that’s not healthy. That’s not the way I want to be. That’s not the way I want to live.

It also puts seeds in your mind of maybe what they’re doing with their creativity and Lord forbid we get accused of copying. Oh, my goodness. So you certainly don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re like, I feel like I made this up. And then you’re like, wait, oh my gosh, that’s right. I saw it on someone else’s account. So the more time you spend on things like that, the more opportunities you have for just little innocent things to happen like that.

So let’s get down to a solution. I want to pose to you a challenge. Now, this is just a tiny challenge, even though it could be really big for you, I know for me it’s going to be really big because I’m going to take this little challenge with you all. It doesn’t have a fancy name. There’s no, like, you know, prizes or anything like that. There’s no Facebook group for it, but it is basically a social media detox challenge. Now, I know we’re all content creators. Most of you that are listening to this podcast are bloggers, content creators, and social media influencers. And so you cannot help but be online and on social media every single day. But I’ve got a couple of tips for you that I hope you’ll find helpful in your quest to squash this comparison trap and this defeatist situation that you find yourself in when you’re constantly comparing.

So the first thing I would recommend would be to go to your phone just right now. I know you’re listening to me on your phone. Anyway, go to your phone and go to the Settings. Now, I didn’t know about this. Maybe you already know about this, but if you did, just humor me and send me a comment that says, oh, you’re such a genius, I can build my confidence.

Anyway, you’re going to go to settings in your phone and then you’re going to go to that little section as you scroll down a couple of scrolls that says Screen Time. There’s also the focus where you can hit Do Not Disturb. But I would like for you to go to the one that says Screen time when you go on that after you pick your jaw up off the floor because you see exactly how much time you spent on social media, your phone each day, the last week. Because I will tell you my jaw drops every single time I look and I’m like, no way, no way, no way. So it says if it’s up or down by a percentage from the week before, I want you to look at those numbers and I want you to pay attention. You can also see it by day, Sunday through Saturday, how much time on average you spend on your screen, on your phone each and every day. I’d like to challenge you to lower that. Let’s try to lower that by 25% is your challenge. So basically you want to see that number and you don’t have to do any math. Trust me, I am not a math person. You don’t have to do any math, but you can go there and it will tell you automatically your percentage that you are down or up from the week prior. So once you have that in your head, you’re going to make this a challenge, a social media detox challenge to get your screen time daily average down by 25% from the week before. I’m going to tell you how you’re going to do that.

Go down a little bit underneath the daily average to App limit. It says App Limits and it says set time limits for your apps. Then you’re going to hit add limit. Once you finish hitting Add Limit, you’re going to go to social and it gives you a drop down. Of all of your social media platforms, I want you to pick the ones you spend time on. If you don’t use Twitter, don’t worry about Twitter. But if you use Instagram, if you use Facebook, if you use Tik tok I want you to grab all of those. So you just tap on them until the little check mark ticks next to them and then you’re going to hit next. And then I want you to pick a time that works for you. Now your goal may be, obviously will be different from the person next to you, but just think to yourself now how long does it really take me to post? How long does it really take me now? How long should I really spend in the comments? How long should I really spend sharing my videos, downloading my videos, changing out the thumbnail, all the things? And then I want you to scroll and put that on there as your time. So you’ve got maybe it’s just 2 hours a day, maybe you could get away with 2 hours a day. 2 hours sounds like a long time until you are in the nitty gritty and you catch yourself looking at people’s stories. Can I get a yes, you catch yourself looking at your own videos, any of those out there looking at your own videos?

So you can literally put a time limit on your apps and you can customize the days. So if you go back to that first screen I know this is a lot, but just stay with me. I promise this is going to be useful and helpful and I cannot wait to see what kind of benefits that you get from this social media detox challenge. And hopefully it’s one that you can continue on a regular basis. You will see on that first one all the different days of the week and how many hours each day you spend and you will see which ones you tend to spend the most time on. So it looks like mine is on a Friday. So when I go in here to add limits and I add maybe a limit to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and say I put 2 hours every day and then I customize maybe on Friday, I know it’s going to take me a little bit longer because I’m posting some additional things for the weekend. Then you can go at that point and up Friday to 3 hours or 4 hours and just do that one day. So do this, see if it works for you. See if it’s something that is just life changing, game changing, I don’t know what the words are right now, but if it really helps you, I think that you will benefit just in the knowledge and the wisdom of knowing how long you’re spending on the platforms and how much work are you getting done in that time.

You should all know about how much you make per hour. So if you have an idea of what you make per hour, decide on those apps when you are on there. Was that worth your $25 an hour? Are you worth $100 an hour? How much money did you lose by spending extra time on the platforms? How much of your confidence did you lose is the bigger question. I really want you to focus on yourself. Stay in your lane.

I want you to know and remember the story about horses. And horses have I know this is totally off topic, but horses have specific reasons that they wear those little blinders on their eyes, the little eye patches and everything. They wear those to keep them in their lane and they specifically wear those for when they are going to be in stressful situations, when they are going to be able to be distracted by things around them. And so basically it’s a really good idea to I’ve got an entire podcast on this and I will link it below. But it’s called Stay in Your Lane and it’s specifically for that reason because when we do look around. When we look to the left and we look to the right. We can fumble. We can fall. But when we are focused on our own business and looking forward. We have nowhere to go but up. Until next time, my friend, stay creative.

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