There’s this woman on Facebook who makes me turquoise with envy.
Her timeline is packed with shots of her happy family, throwing parties, walking on the beach, baking cakes. Then there are the selfies of her and her husband ‘so in love’, the check-ins at lovely restaurants and the cute stories about her perfectly behaved child.
If I’m honest, I almost hate her. Which is bizarre if you think about it, because that woman on Facebook is actually me.
You see, my Facebook profile is a lie.
That perfect profile picture (which hides my double chin and grey roots) wasn’t just a quick snap. It took 20 attempts and some crafty Photoshopping.
We all do it.
We put our best foot forward on Facebook. We don’t post pictures of us cleaning the toilet with a hangover after a sleepless night. We present the best version of ourselves and this can breed something known as Facebook Envy.
We’re jealous of our friends’ wonderful lives and the fun that, frankly, we’re not having.
We get bitter.
We question our own lives.
Some people go so far as to close down their Facebook accounts.
But if this sounds like you, don’t worry; you’re not alone. A recent study conducted by two German universities found that one in three people felt more dissatisfied with their lives after looking through their Facebook feed.
“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook, with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” researcher Hanna Krasnova reported.
They also found that people in their mid-30s were more likely to envy family happiness while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness.
Interestingly, men were shown to post more self-promotional content on Facebook while women stressed their good looks and social lives.
So how do you avoid Facebook Envy? Is there a cure? Well, here are my top tips:
1) Admit it: Own your jealousy and don’t live in denial.
2) Don’t believe the hype: Remember, Facebook is not the whole story; it’s only the bits people want to show.
3) Share the joy: Instead of resenting your friends’ happiness, click the ‘like’ button and enjoy it with them.
4) Stop comparing: Don’t look at others to set the bar of how happy you should or could be and instead develop your own goals.
5) Step away: If you’re spending too much time obsessing over someone’s profile, turn the computer off and start living!
It’s easy to fall into the habit of converting every moment into your life into a witty status update. You stop enjoying the view and instead take a snap of it ready to upload.
So next time you see a svelte snap of a friend, or a boastful status update about a job promotion, smile, ‘Like’ and take it with a BIG pinch of salt.
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