One of the more profound things I've learned in the last year — probably both personally and professionally — is that comparison kills. The more time you spend comparing yourself, your startup or organization with another, the more you'll likely either be let down, build a chip on your shoulder or worse, gain a sense of entitlement. The best thing to do is to focus your sights on the next checkpoint or goal and just keep swimming... I mean running.
We live in an age where it's easier than ever to creep on others and see what their family life is like, what trips their going on, how fit they got in the last three days and how in the world does Instagram know that I want this new watch? Social media almost quantifies its perceived value in each person by way of friends, followers, likes and retweets. I'd be lying if I said I've never deleted a post because it didn't get enough love.
If you think about it, people almost have two reputations. There's the you that people (may or may not) know in person: how you act at parties, whether or not you like to chat about politics and what your laugh sounds like, then there's the online you: the one that people know from the Tasty videos you share, how funny your tweets are and what you think based the political rant you shouted into the digital void.
To me, its a disease. Yes, self promotion has its benefits, especially in the business world, but if you look to the most successful people and companies in the world, how much time do they spend talking about their success or showcasing what they've accomplished versus incessantly grinding and hustlin'? Sure, Steve was keeping an eye on Bill, but if he spent his life comparing, Apple wouldn't have been considered a pioneer like they are today.
This isn't to say that if you've ever posted a photo on Instagram you'll never be successful. I love me a good 'Gram and a witty caption. The point is, everything is great until it isn't anymore. Simple enough, right? Whiskey and cigars are wonderful things, but they can drastically alter your life if you aren't careful. So enjoy social media, its what it's there for. But don't use it as a vehicle to feel superior to someone else or and absolutely don't let it be the source of your anxiety or depression.