Archuleta A. Chisolm
Getting Rid of Social Media Envy
So, here’s an interesting fact: People spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media. With this constant connection, it makes you wonder what people are actually doing and how it makes them feel. Whether we admit it or not, social media can have an effect on our overall wellness.
One study reveals that jealousy decreases the quality of our mental health, while another states that it increases stress, anxiety, passive aggression, depression, and even causes us to age at a faster rate. Not to mention what it does to us on a spiritual level. DANG!
It’s easy to fall prey to social media jealousy and envy. We can argue it’s not our fault, as social media is a place that promotes the lives of people who appear to have it all.
Some will go to great lengths to be a part of someone else’s world, only knowing them from their Instagram account. Oftentimes, we start to connect with someone and feel like this person is a friend – especially if they interact back. We see certain influencers and lifestyle bloggers and wish we had their perfect lives, perfect families, and the money we perceive they make.
Truth is, we only know one part of their lives – the part they choose to share. In addition, you don’t know what that person had to go through in order to get to that point. You may not want any part of it! Social media life is very different than real life. Scrolling down their accounts, just know that you’re seeing what they want you see; a small fraction of their lives at a specific moment.
Our hearts sink when we see people doing things we wish we could do, and going places we wish we could go. I can remember scrolling Instagram and saw that someone I knew obtained a writing fellowship. I started to feel envious and wondered why I couldn’t have the same opportunity. I quickly realized that this was not meant for me. Not only did I not apply for the fellowship, I didn’t even know about it! Sometimes we suffer for no reason!
We live in the age of envy. Career envy, house envy, children envy, relationship envy, hair and makeup envy. You name it, there’s envy for it. We are constantly bombarded by people’s lives and that exerts a toll on our self-esteem and spirit. When people aren’t able to achieve the lifestyle they want, but which they see others have, it amplifies a discord. It becomes a comparison game.
And those comparisons are much less realistic. We all know that images can be filtered, that people are presenting the very best take on their lives. We carry our phones in our pockets, we sleep with it next to our pillows, and it tempts us 24 hours a day from the moment we wake up.
I’ve made it a practice of not looking at social media, until I have completed my morning routine. This includes reading scriptures, meditations, prayer time, and maybe some journaling time. I call it “getting my mind right” and it’s so necessary, in order to have a productive day. I also use Sunday as my social media-free day. Allowing myself to unplug from all of that is a big part of my self-care.
We are all just people. Some of us have more money or are more well-known, but we're all imperfect and battle with insecurities. Believe it or not, there's a huge chance that if you sat down with your favorite influencer and compared notes, there is at least one thing in your possession that they wish they had too.
Your purpose is just as relevant as the next person. Honor this fact by choosing not to envy anyone. Your purpose, your life in general, deserves so much more than that. And, so do you.