Many people seem to get upset at the success of their friends and family on Social Media spaces. It isn’t jealousy as much as it is something that makes them take it personally when people post happy updates. I assume this is because the person getting upset lives a relatively routine life. If you find that this is you, I ask that you consider this one truth – much of what people post are the highlights of their lives… it isn’t their “life” so much as it is a dynamic film reel of their respective experiences.
People rarely if ever announce the embarrassing, down times in life because to the Social Media world they want to show a good face. Social Media could easily be a celebration of all of our raises, marriages, children walking, and cats doing back-flips but to many it is a scale with which to measure themselves up to someone else.
All of this negativity and to think, we are in an exciting time with Social Media. As a people we can reach out and touch one another through text, with the simple sequence of swiping a password, clicking an app, and then typing a small message. Sometimes I put aside my cynicism to just look at our wonderful Information Age and smile. We are what our ancestors envisioned the future to be – technology-wise at least.
Unfortunately like everything else that is available and free to human beings, there are many who have let it destroy them through careless or ignorant means. Celebrities become villains on Twitter, respected authorities reveal a flawed reality, and people who seek attention get carried away with anonymity. Social Media can be a way to keep up with loved ones far away, a means to extend one’s network, experience foreign things; it has limitless potential!
So why should we let Social Media be another scale in our lives to remind us of how little we have done?
I have a great mixture of personalities on my Facebook, Twitter and G+ accounts. Some are photographers who travel, snapping the world up into wonderful photos. There are jetsetters; hardcore kid raising moms and dads, there’s the party animal, the nerd… All of these “friends” of mine make up a mélange of experience that makes it a treat to scroll through my various wall of activity.
When I see a friend announcing that he’s about to flip his 10th house on the market I congratulate him and use his celebration as an excuse to up my business game so that I too can reach a milestone. I see the engaged statuses and the new baby announcements and they are never a reminder to me that I skipped out on that part of life – to me, it is a friend sharing their elation at meeting one of their goals.
As corny as it sounds, you almost have to take yourself out of the equation when it comes to other people’s highlights or risk your mind going to that very dark place of comparison. While there are as many malcontents posting about how much their job sucks, once they do it too much they will begin to lose people. Use Social Media for what it is meant for: connecting, sharing, and celebrating. I’ve read whole blogs by people claiming that Facebook is depressing and how their life is nothing like their “lucky” friend with the new boyfriend. Why would someone make content out of something like that?
If you find yourself being envious of a friend whose job allows him to travel the world and meet beautiful people then it is time to look within and make it a motivating moment. Celebrate the people on your “friends-list” and don’t make it an imagined game of life’s show-and-tell. You will find that you will be much more at peace as a person and who knows, maybe with that peace you will be posting photos of your slice of life for those without to celebrate.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.