With the rise of social media, it’s easy to feel like our social media accounts are an extension of our lives. After all, between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, almost three billion people worldwide have a social media account.
Plus, the average person spends more than 35 minutes on Facebook and more than 15 minutes on Twitter. And that’s just the average, most young people spend way more time every day on social media.
When you spend that much time online, your reality inadvertently changes. You start to view the social media world as reality, and that’s where the problem starts.
With social media, you can fabricate your own reality. Through a series of carefully curated pictures and images, you can appear to be living a completely different life from the one you have now.
If given the opportunity to create a brand-new life, what kind of life would you create? A perfect one of course. And therein lies one of the biggest social issues that the use of social media has created — social media jealousy.
When you pick up your phone and scroll through your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter timelines, you’ll be bombarded with pictures and captions that make you feel like the life you have is worthless.
After all, your classmate is currently backpacking through Europe with her boyfriend, your old roommate from college is in the Maldives, and one of your former coworkers quit her job to run a six-figure business from Bali.
Looking at these people seemingly living the life you’ve always dreamed of can be hard to swallow. Before you know it, social media jealousy might start to creep in.
But how can you deal with it? Luckily, you can always correct the feeling and start feeling amazing about your own life. Let’s take a look at how you can deal with social media jealousy.
1. Limit Your Social Media Time
This first way might seem simple, but it could be harder than you think. If what you see on your social media timeline bothers you, you should spend less time scrolling, and more time doing other things. There are tons of apps dedicated to helping you do just this. They work by displaying notifications that you’ve exceeded your allotted screen time, or even exiting the app. This kind of drastic step will help you to break out of the social media habit.
In the time that you’ve freed up because you spend less time on social media, you can learn new things or develop some of your existing skills. There’s a lot more to life than followers, likes and social media friends. Taking this step will help you to rediscover how amazing real life can be.
2. Unfollow People That Make You Feel Bad About Yourself
Though this one isn’t often mentioned when people discuss getting rid of social media jealousy, it needs to be said. You don’t have to continue following somebody who’s Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts make you feel bad about yourself.
The fact of the matter is, some people genuinely go out of their way to brag on their social media. And if you don’t like that, you’re within your right to unfollow them.
So, take stock of who you’re following. Whoever doesn’t suit your spirit, kick them to the curb. You deserve it!
3. Change Your View of Social Media
This last tip is also hard, but it will ultimately reap you the most results in the long term.
What do we mean by changing your view of social media? Instead of allowing jealousy to boil inside of you every time you see someone on your timeline doing something that you wish you were doing, you should reflect on what that feeling means. Additionally, you should think some more about who the person really is.
For example, let’s go back to the three situations that we mentioned at the outset which might make you feel jealous:
First, that old classmate backpacking through Europe.
What makes you feel jealous about her situation? Is it because she seems to be in exotic places, eating good food and meeting new people?
While that may be true, most of her experience isn’t captured in the pictures she posts every few days. She doesn’t record the confusion she first felt when she arrived in a foreign country.
She doesn’t share the dormitories she sleeps in to save money to make the trip possible. And she certainly didn’t share the food poisoning she came down with after eating from a street vendor.
Here’s another scenario. Your old college roommate who is in the Maldives might make you feel jealous. After all, a week at a hotel in the Maldives plus flights might run you close to $5,000.
You’re jealous and wish you could be doing the same. But her social media posts don’t tell the entire story.
You don’t know that she’s now a flight attendant, so she flew to the destination free. You also don’t know that she lived extremely frugally for months to pay for the hotel in the Maldives.
You also don’t know that she might not take another vacation like this in years. None of those things would be communicated through her posts.
Lastly, the coworker that quit her job and is now running a six-figure business from Bali? Her social media posts don’t get into the nitty-gritty of her financials—while her business might be making six-figures in revenue, she only has about $2,000 in profit to spend each month.
She’s able to live a luxurious life in Bali because of the ridiculously low cost of living. Plus, her social media posts don’t show you the downside of being an expat.
Don’t Buy into the Hype
Most times, what people present on social media isn’t who they actually are. But, even if it were all true and they were exactly the person you thought they were, it still shouldn’t matter.
The point of social media is connections, not comparisons. The sooner you decide to change the way you think about social media, the sooner you’ll be happier. Kick social media jealousy to the curb, and start reveling in the amazingness of your own life!