This post is not a typical “technical social media post”. We are going to go into something more deep than that- and will cover something that a large percentage of online users happen to encounter which is “Facebook envy“.
What is Facebook Envy
In a nutshell, when people are going through a difficult time and see that others on their social media feeds are sharing clips of their wonderful lives (so it may seem anyway)- they are not going to help but to feel envious. It could be that someone is longing to move to larger home, however cannot afford to do so at the time. Then that individual sees an online friend posting pictures of his or her new home all over his or her networks. That will certainly trigger some feeling of salt being rubbed into the wound. Or it may be that someone who is unable to take a vacation whether it is due to not having the money for it or being stuck due to caring for young children or aging parents- and sees that someone has been posting pictures of his or her trip to Italy. That will make the individual feel even worse about being unable to take a vacation at the time. The list of examples are endless, and by the way, Facebook is not the only social network around to trigger feelings of jealousy. It may happen to be the one that the majority of people use for keeping in touch with their online friends. I understand how these dark feelings can make you even more miserable, however here are 7 tips that will help not only overcome Facebook envy but will keep you grounded.
1. Remember that what Appears on the Outside is Rarely Reality. – If you are going through a very difficult time, it is going to be very easy to believe that others out there will have a better life than you. I can promise you that is rarely the case. And even if it is true in some situations- it never lasts. No one has it easy for life. I will also promise you that just because someone on your list is sharing pictures or status updates that makes it seem like his or her life is ideal- that individual could in reality be having a very difficult time as well but may be sharing some happy and positive moments. For instance, if someone on your list took a very expensive trip to Europe and you would give your eye teeth to go on even a staycation- have you considered that perhaps the individual sacrificed eating out for 6 months in order to afford that trip? Have you considered that maybe he or she lived on Ramen noodles or Kraft dinner for a year in order to save up for that trip? Perhaps he or she took out a line of credit for the trip and will have to pay it off with interest for a long time. Or maybe that individual wanted to take an ill family member who has less than a year to live on that trip? Maybe that individual is the one who is very ill and wanted to make sure that he or she took that trip before he or she is unable to even get out of bed again. I want to also compare something else. For instance, you are having a difficult time making money with your business and things are tight. You then see someone on your list flaunting his or her new expensive car, new home, expensive nights out, etc. You feel the green eyed monster emerge when you see that. What if the reality is, that individual is not nearly as wealthy as he or she appears to be and the real story is he or she is in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. You have to consider that just because someone appears to have a wonderful life on the outside, is not likely living such a wonderful life in reality.
2. Acknowledge the Good Things in your Life. It is very easy to become envious of someone on your list who appears to have what you really have been longing for- so much to the point that you take the good things in your life for granted. When you feel the green eyed monster emerge when looking at your Facebook feed, why not stop and think about all of the blessings in your life? Better yet, write it down and then you will see that your life really is not so bad.
3. Share your Own Joys on Facebook. Did you have a fun night out with friends or partner? Does your dog look gorgeous after being groomed? Why not take pictures and share all of that on Facebook? It will make you feel good, and help you realize that even though you may not have gone on a European tour like your friend did- you still have great things to flaunt about. You are not doing so to boast by any means- just do so to remind yourself that like the others on your list, you have good things to share as well. It is a great reminder to you that your life is not so bad either.
4. Celebrate with your Friends. This may be a challenging thing to do but if you congratulate your friends success and engage with their joyous posts- it will make you feel better. Sure, you still may be feeling envious somewhat, but it feels a lot worse when you are looking at your friends joyous posts with jealously and feeling pity for yourself. Besides, interacting in a positive way with your friend who is sharing something wonderful that happened in his or her life will also make you look good to others. As a bonus, this alone will give them a reason to want to connect with you.
5. Stop Comparing yourself to Others. This one is much easier said than done. I admit I am guilty of this too and here is when I need to take this advice as well. It is easy to compare your life that you perceive as bleak to someone else’s life that appears to be easier. When you are in that space, you must remember that you, we are all unique and there really is nothing to compare. We have our unique gifts and our own challenges. Your friend who you are feeling envious does as well- and your friend will also have challenges in his or her life that you may never even have to deal with. That being said, do you still believe that he or she has a better life than you?
6. If you don’t Like Something About Yourself, Change it and if you Can’t, Work Around it. We have all heard that cliche that you need to accept the things you can’t change and if there is something in your life that you don’t like that can be changed- then do something about it. For instance, if your friend is boasting that he or she lost 20 lbs and you are sitting there, feeling envious while munching on potato chips- then you truly have nothing to be jealous of. And yet, if there is something in your life that is bringing you down that you are unable to change- and yet you see your friend posting updates that are reminding you further that you have this particular challenge- that is difficult. I get that. However, that is also the time to think about the things you are grateful for. You may also think about how to work around the very thing that is bringing you down. For instance, if you are racked up with debt and you are not making a lot of money as it is- then you see your friend boasting that he or she got a huge promotion and raise, that is going to hurt. You can’t change the fact that you have debt, in the short term anyway. That is the time to accept it, and to also work around it. Find solutions to help manage it. You need to remember in that kind of instance, there are options to handle it. You can look into consolidation, cutting back on spending where you can, even looking into getting another job to help pay it down quicker.
7. If you are Grieving, Stay Away from Social Media. There are times when tragedy or huge disappointments will strike and will cause you to grieve for some time. Even though shutting people out is not recommended, while grieving and seeing other people post anything joyous is going to make things worse for you. That is the time to keep away and you will need time to process everything. If you are running a business, you however will need to make sure that the social media for your business is taken care of. That is the time to find someone to manage it for you whether it is a friend, relative or social media manager. Just be sure to make it noticeable on your social media pages that you will be less active for a while due to some personal issues that came up- so others can understand why you are not going to be interactive for a while.
I hope you found this helpful if you happen to be one of many people out there dealing with Facebook envy.