While I was aimlessly scrolling through my news app this week I came across an article titled, “My ex boyfriend’s new GF is Lady Gaga.” Instead of updating myself on the fiery political climate with elections rearing the corner, I clicked.

This reporter tells how she was sitting at her desk the day after the Super Bowl when her phone started blowing up...look at this...omg are you ok...check FB check ET check Insta... So she clicked. And found images of Lady Gaga being escorted into a private Super Bowl suite holding hands with the reporter’s ex boyfriend.

If you’ve ever googled an ex’s new partner (be honest) you’ve probably played a certain game with yourself. You’re either curious (which is normal) or you want to know how you compare. Ideally the ex’s life didn’t improve too much with this new addition? She/he isn’t way better looking than you, maybe they don’t dress as well, or your career is better? In this case, though, that’s all upended. How do you compare with Lady Gaga?

I wonder what my exes think when they look me up. I envision a vertical cascade of photos from which they develop some superficial perspective on my life, on who I’ve become since them. I constantly catch myself on social media comparing my “imperfections” (cellulite, pimples, dark spots, thin hair) to every celebrity and Instagram model on my feed. Yet I keep following them all, a passive but not unwilling audience.

Social media in 2020 is so ingrained that it’s no longer a supplement or even an addiction. It’s just an accelerated extension of the way humans have always behaved. We live in a culture of constant updates. You want to unsubscribe? Well, you can’t.The way I see it, if this is where we’ve landed in 2020, with social media simply being a part of our lives, why not let it be less of a comparison and more an acknowledgement that we are all the same: strangers, smiling on a screen.