Wow literally everyone is doing cooler things than me. How do they have time to do all this cool stuff? How did they even get a cool job like that? That is totally the lifestyle I need. Blah blah blah. Lifestyle envy is real, y’all, and if you have developed massive anxiety about how you match up to others, you are not alone.
I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of being facebook free and I can count on one hand the number of times it would’ve been convenient to have that website in the past year (SoMeHoW, I was still invited to the Hanukkah party because my friend just texted me the details. Woah! Amazing!). You might be wondering what prompted my rebellious and taboo-esque deactivation of facebook…
My timeline was completely saturated with ICE BUCKET CHALLENGES.
I won’t waste my time getting into how I think everyone missed the point of it all or how I estimated the amount of clean drinking water that was being literally thrown on the ground when people in California were suffering a brutal drought…not to mention people in other countries who lack clean drinking water all together. Fortunately for me, there was no internal debate after being tagged to participate in this “challenge.” I logged out and only logged back in once (my Spotify profile was still linked to facebook thereby reactivating my account every time I listened to music. Tricky bastards).
So how are things going one year later? Well, I’m still consumed with everyone else’s impressive lives and killer shoe collections. All the time I thought I was saving by deleting facebook, I simply redirected into twitter and instagram…which are possibly worse for lifestyle envy. Everyone is still taking better photos and experiencing more life than me. Or so it appears.
Well everyone is kind of a liar. No one is posting photos of their anxiety attacks or 9-5 jobs or their all around bad days. We aren’t seeing all of their lives because, let’s face it, NO ONE has a good life 100% of the time. Consider the fact that it seems unlikely for a person like Beyonce to announce “I’m gonna take a dump” when it would actually be crazier if she didn’t poop at all (Note: no evidence to prove one way or another…so I’m still debating this one…). I’m not saying that social media should be eradicated all together because I love seeing pictures of my nephew and I get quite a bit of news from Twitter. But there has to be balance in the time we spend looking at other’s lives and actually living our own. IDEA FOR TOP EXECS: A giant disclaimer at the top of every post that says “All Content is Carefully Selected by User to Convey How They Want the World to Perceive Them #allthefilters.”
So if you are having trouble making major life decisions or feeling good about your accomplishments and social media only makes this harder, I would highly recommend listening to the “Should” episode of The Mind Palace. This podcast features two women exploring what it means to be a minimalist in a maximalist world and how to live a well curated life. They touch on the issue of lifestyle envy and it miraculously turned my shitty “discontented with my life” day around.