The Perils of Social Media

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By Iyanla Vanzant

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 4 of VARSITY News.


In the age of social media, comparison is the plague of the human spirit. It colours everything in our lives and has made it even harder, in 2019, to be able to stand in one’s own truth. Honestly, I myself have fallen victim to its pervasive grasp.


Before social media ever entered my life, I was just a happy and confident kid ready to take on the world; but as I have grown and started engaging with social media continuously, it has made me feel far worse about myself then I have ever felt before. It is funny really, as one would think that we are most vulnerable and impressionable as kids, but neigh! You ain’t seen nothing yet, my fellow human.


As I have gotten older, I have found myself now battling Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety. That’s not to say that comparing oneself to others is the fundamental cause of depression, because it’s not. It is, however, an act of violence against oneself. When you are already experiencing changes to yourself that you cannot explain and find yourself slipping deeper and deeper into the deep, dark depth of the abyss, the last thing you need is to go on Instagram and see that you still only have 100 followers while everyone else from high school is out here with over 500 followers. You do not need to be reminded that you do not have a life because you are broke, stressed out and downright depressed. You do not need to reawaken that longing desperation for an intimate partner or soul mate because you see your ex-best friend is on her fifth boyfriend while you are still at a whopping ZERO.


Honestly, the things people have they go out of their way to brag about them are now in your face every time you refresh your feed or go on the explore page. Everyone seems prettier, funnier, more successful and more fulfilled in life than you. I mean even comparing yourself to celebrities or sports stars your own age is not entirely a good idea, nor is it fair. But you know all of this, deep inside your mind you know yet you continue to do it. Why? Is that what social media has groomed us to do naturally? Now you just can’t resist.


Bottomline, it would probably serve in your best interests to lay off the constant social media throughout the day. Do not wake up to your Twitter feed. Do not compulsively check your Facebook notifications. Lay off the Snapchat for a little bit.


Steve Furtick said it best: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”



This section of VARSITY is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers.


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