On the scroll of social media
It’s apparent
That your life sucks
Compared to everyone you know lounging
On tropical islands with their feet in the sand
Deep in romances
With amazing jobs
And the most adorable, well behaved children

You’re inadequacy has you
Watching the “like” meter
As a gauge of self-worth
On your own posts of artfully posed photos
Smiling adoringly
In a manicured version of existence

Scroll long enough and you begin to realize
The photos are deformed images
Of real life

For example,
The woman who snapped that photo of her husband
Blowing her a kiss and cutely captioning it,
“How lucky am I to have such a wonderful husband?”
Is at a low point in her relationship
She found his drunken texts to other women
That night he was smiling at the bar after posting to his wall,
“My bae, my life”

And the single mother who snapped that photo of herself
With duck lips
Used five filters and a teeth whitening tool
To look virtually perfect
That night she left her children in the care of an addict
When she was smiling at the bar after posting to her wall,
“Family first”

Scroll long enough and you realize
Social networking’s idealistic standards
Have you staring into a toxic mirror

And you will be humbled in your focus from what
Everyone else is doing
To what you want to do
And realize
You were comparing yourself to false images

And as Theodore Roosevelt famously quoted,

Is the thief
Of Joy.”