Social Media Envy

“If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.” ~ Debbie Macomber, Mrs. Miracle

I deleted all of my social media accounts, with the exception of Twitter and Instagram.  I kept Twitter to read daily snippets of news, and Instagram because I genuinely enjoy looking at photography.  I no longer use the social functions of those applications, however.  I had found myself feeling pangs of envy whenever I was scrolling through friends’ pages.  While I was honestly feeling happy to read the successes of my friends, there was a part of me that had started to feel inadequate somehow.  My age group is particularly competitive.  Being at the lower end of middle-age, society demands a certain level of financial and relationship success.  We are middle-aged, so should we not already be stable financially, and should we not already be in at least a decade old relationship?  Most of my friends have socially enviable lifestyles, with their beautiful kids, beautiful homes, and beautiful cars.  While they drive through life with their Porsches, I literally and figuratively drive around in a Honda.  Scratch that.  I actually donated my nineteen year old Honda to Goodwill in January.  So actually I am going through life on foot, while everyone else is cruising through life in a Porsche.

Lest I sound like an ungrateful person, let me just say here and now that I am very grateful for what I have in my life.  I have a daughter who gives me love and happiness, and a purpose in life.  I have a job that I love, one that challenges me and allows me to live a comfortable life.  I have a family that gives me consistent headaches, but whom I love beyond words.  I have friends – amazing, extraordinary friends who have been with me through thick and thin, ride or die.  Really, I could not ask for more in life.

But social media is toxic.  It is like a poison that seeps through your skin, flows through your bloodstream, and before you know it, your thoughts are on fire and your self-esteem levels rise and fall according to the amount of likes and hearts you receive on your posts.

I decided that I did not want to live my life that way, constantly assessing the success of my life based on the number of new followers I gained, or on how many people “liked” my post.  And I no longer wanted to know that X bought another new and expensive accessory, or that Y was on her sixth lavish vacation this year.  Many of these X and Y people were not even really my friends. Most of them were just acquaintances, and many of them I had not seen or even spoken with for many, many years. So did I really need to know all this information about them?  The answer is no.  Although I am happy for everyone that their lives are all pomp & circumstance, while my daily life is rough and tumble, I do not need constant reminders.

All I can say is, now having deleted my social media accounts over half a year ago, ignorance really is bliss.  

2 thoughts on “Social Media Envy

  1. Hi Nova,
    Cutting back on social media is a good idea. Facebook can be a convenient way of keeping in touch whilst away but the downside is you can easily fall into the unhealthy trap of defining yourself in terms of number of likes, friends and material things. I remember when you first bought that second hand Honda Civic which I think was a bit over 10 yrs. old then. Do you recall that you posted then you were quite excited about picking it up from a friend? A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then hasn’t it?
    Some of the most cherished thoughts I have are from those who left this world without any material things save the legacy of their thoughts and actions. They remain of course priceless gifts of wisdom.
    One of my inspirational memories was when I was in Malawi visiting the communities in an old bomb Ute with Fr Taylor. Not like the other shiny new large 4 wheel drives the other ‘Not for profits’ drove around in. But the difference was, given any break downs, hundreds would rush to help as the word got known. What need have I got he said, to waste money on such luxuries when so many are always on hand to lend a hand. The warm heart of Africa was alive and well amongst the poorest people in the world. Very few of those happy people can afford to own or run cars.
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks, Lindsay. I agree with you that some of the best people in the world are those who have nothing. I see that a lot when I go to the Philippines. Many of these people have nothing, but their hearts are so rich. Your story about the cars breaking down in Malawi and a mob of people rushing to help is so heartwarming. It reminds me of a time when I was transporting some of my small furniture from one apartment to another on a small wheel cart, and as I was crossing a street, the cart flipped over, spreading my belongings all over the avenue. Several people saw this happen, and some turned around to look at the commotion, but not one person came to offer me assistance. It’s such a marked difference between the two cultures.

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