How to Avoid Feeling Insecure on Social Media

One glimpse at the Instagram model’s perfect smile brings a
spike of negative emotion. Why can’t your smile look that good,
your clothes look that nice, or your friends look that happy?

Social media insecurity is a well-documented phenomenon. The
human brain is programmed to always try to understand your place in
the social hierarchy. It’s both a tool for motivation and a tool
for survival. You need to know what is possible so you can strive
to achieve it, and you need to know who’s better than you so that
you can either follow or avoid them.

Social media, however, makes that totally sensible system spin
out of control.

A window into every life

Throughout most of our existence on Earth, humans existed in
tribes of hunter-gatherers. Human tribes were groups of 50 to 300
people. Not coincidentally, the latter is also our upper limit for
keeping track of names and relationships; scientists estimate that
we can keep track of three hundred people in our lives, and we can
comfortably maintain about 150 stable relationships. More than that
and we start to get confused.

Our value assessment systems mentioned above were developed to
deal with this state of affairs: to tribes of three hundred people
at most. Back then, having status meant having a slightly nicer
piece of animal skin, or being able to throw a spear further than
the others. There wasn’t such massive income inequality in the
world or such a massive number of people competing for

It used to be that the best smile you could see was the
prettiest smile out of three hundred people. Now, if you follow an
influencer, you’re likely seeing the prettiest smile out of
billions of smiles. A smile that has been further improved through
thousands of dollars of spending, many photography tricks, and just
a little bit of photo editing to make it perfect. It’s not fair
to compare any person’s smile to that supercharged image you see
on social media, but your brain doesn’t know that, hence the

What can you do about it?

There are a series of steps you can take in order to avoid
feeling bad about yourself when browsing social media. Most of them
have to do with putting into context the images you see on screen
and understanding that they’re not real, not really. They’re as
real as the exaggerated displays of might you see in superhero

Here are some things you should remind yourself whenever you
feel insecure on social media.

1 – Most of the best pictures are heavily staged and

2 – People only show the best part of themselves online,
glossing over their flaws.

3 – Anyone can fake a great smile, no matter how cranky they
really feel.

4 – The people who make you feel insecure are also full of
insecurities themselves.

5 – You would also look great if you spent that much money on
yourself, and had a team around you managing your image. Of course,
it’s also good to take breaks from time to time and make sure to
follow normal people on top of those who look like they have
perfect lives. Finally, if you deal with anxiety on top of feeling
insecure, it’s always good to implement some natural calming
remedies into your routine. Check out if you’d like to learn
more about those.

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How to Avoid Feeling Insecure on Social Media