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Confronting the Social Media Comparison Trap

Do you find yourself falling into the comparison trap on social media?

Everyone does it.

Not just on a personal level, but professionally too.

You see other business owners with more likes, more followers… And you feel like what you’re doing is never enough.

It’s an undertow of negativity; you try to fight against it, but it just keeps sucking you in.

The truth is, there will always be someone, somewhere who is doing more of this and less of that.

Don’t let them distract you from pursuing your own goals and values.

They’re not you.

And you’re only seeing a filtered version of their truth. You have no idea what’s really going on behind the curtain.

According to the New York Times, in the real world, The National Enquirer (a weekly publication) sells nearly three times as many copies as The Atlantic (a monthly) every year. But on Facebook, The Atlantic is 45 times more popular.

More likes doesn’t mean more business. It doesn’t mean greater success or happiness.

When you start prioritizing quality over quantity, it shows in the relationships you build. When you’re more concerned with depth versus width, you see more meaningful results.

Suddenly, the right clients and customers start walking through your door – the ones who you actually feel excited about working with.

And it only takes one share, or one like, to lead you to the ideal client.

So start there. Just work on getting the ball rolling.

Don’t let yourself become so distracted by reach. Instead, focus on influence. Pay attention to how many people you’re authentically connecting with.

Think about what you can do to connect on an even deeper level, and build upon that.

Most importantly, stay focused on your own path.

Still looking for a metric to track? How about rate of self-improvement?

Keep trying to become better than the business owner you were yesterday. After all, the only comparison that truly matters is the one you make against yourself.


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is the founder of Web of Words. She helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Her work has been published in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Zoomer, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and fur-babe. To learn more, check out her portfolio at and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. Hi, Charlotte! Thank you for such an encouraging article. I always get depressed when I see the success of my competitors. Your thoughts are very essential and I probably have to take it easier.


    • Charlotte Ottaway

      We all need to be a little gentler on ourselves! Thanks for commenting, Writology. I’m glad you found the post helpful. I know I certainly need the reminder myself every now and again.


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