Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is Facebook Making You Jealous?

I admit that Facebook on occasion makes me jealous. Just when I've been feeling really good and happy for a long stretch of time, Facebook can suddenly catch me off guard and remind me of my lack, something I work on not focusing on. Sometimes when I see other people having life experiences that I would like to have (a loving relationship, a fulfilling career, a very active social life, and opportunities to travel) I do end up in tears. 

And for what? It's silly, really -- at least half of the people I'm connected to I'm really not friends with offline. Several of them are former coworkers that I'll probably never see in person again. But seeing other people supposedly getting ahead while you feel like your life has been put on hold in different areas can be tough. 

I'm not the only one; a study from last year revealed that many people can feel lousy about themselves and even get depressed after spending too much time on the social network. 

Jealousy is often pegged as a weakness and a character flaw, but I think it's only human to feel jealousy from time to time. I don't think of it as a bad thing or a negative quality as long as it isn't making you depressed or feeling vindictive. Many law of attraction teachers believe that jealousy is a sign that you still have some vibration clearing up to do, and resistance to believing in yourself that needs to be released. 

When I do start feeling sorry for myself because of what I've seen on Facebook -- as I did today -- then I know it's time to take a break from looking at my personal feed for a while. It's tricky because I manage the brand page for the company I freelance for and my other blog's Facebook page, so I have to type in the URL to go to them directly. It also feels a little hypocritical to advocate taking a break from social media when a good portion of my freelance job involves social media, but I'm not talking about deactivating your account; just taking a small break here and there. 

Without seeing what is going on in anyone else's life, I can stop comparing myself to them. I'm able to concentrate on what I currently have in my life and what's working for me. I also get a break from seeing an endless parade of political opinions, commentary about celebrities, memes, silly photos/videos, and other stuff that I have no interest in seeing (photos and videos of cats and Christoph Waltz, however, is perfectly A-OK in my book.)

When Facebook starts getting on your nerves, it's also helps to remind yourself that not everything you see posted is authentic. Not everyone's life is perfect, no matter what they would like you to believe. People for the most part also tend to only post the most positive stuff on social media and slap happy face stickers on everything; you're never going to hear about the arguments that the happy married couples you're connected to have offline, or the temper tantrum or problems in school that their perfect child has. No one's life is 100% hunky dory all of the time, no matter how wonderful that perception may appear online. 

You're also going to gain some more time for yourself by not dabbling on Facebook every day; more time to read or partake in another hobby, which is always healthier for the soul then comparing yourself to other people, many of whom you may not even be that close to. 

So now I begin a Facebook sabbatical for maybe a week, maybe two weeks for my own good, to clear up my beliefs, and work through my own fleeting feelings of minor inadequacy. Maybe some filtering of posts from certain people when I get back is in order. 

Do you get jealous of others on Facebook, and what do you do to help you deal with it? 

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