Social comparison theory made simple

Ha Nguyen
1 min readMay 4, 2020

“My friend is much more lucky & talented than I am” 👉 Upward social comparison

“At least I did not get big debt like that guy” 👉 Downward social comparison

Both types can have negative or positive effects.

But we do it for the same purpose: To find out how good or bad we are doing in certain aspects

Especially when there is no objective measure for self-evaluation.

It’s our nature to make comparisons like these

But Social Media has made it worse

Especially with passive scrolling on the news feed.

We see others’ fancy photos & updates of what they’ve been experiencing & special achievements, available 24/7

Which encourages us to (constantly) compare ourselves to people seemingly better than we are & most likely will feel envy

We get lost in THEIR idealized life

Forget to enjoy our own life, damage our self-esteem & confidence

Which, in a long time, results in depression



Ha Nguyen

A child advocate & entrepreneur in Helsinki who cares about education, fairness, the environment & sustainability. Stay in touch on IG: @a.second.of.happiness