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.