Do you ever feel bad about yourself after browsing Facebook or Twitter? Does it appear that everyone else's life is better than yours? On social media, it's all too easy to become envious of others. Vacation pictures, engagement announcements, wedding shoots – it's all enough to make you envious.
Signs of social media envy
So, what exactly are the signs of social media envy? The main indicator is a general decline in mood. After reading some particularly upbeat posts from a friend or relative, you may feel empty. You might also feel compelled to read all of their posts or look through all of their photo albums. Even when you're envious, it's as if you can't take your gaze away.
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On some level, you may even enjoy using their posts as a stick to beat yourself with. Within minutes, you can find yourself sinking into a pit of self-loathing and despair. You may also feel bad about being jealous. After all, shouldn't you be happy for those who are happy?
Humans are competitive by nature
It may be useful in understanding how this phenomenon occurs in the first place. Humans are naturally social creatures who enjoy interacting with others, but we are also a competitive species. To some extent, most of us enjoy flaunting our abilities.
The unavoidable result is a society of people who seize every opportunity to show the world how wonderful they are and how well their lives are going.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to remember this while browsing Facebook, and this is where the problems begin. According to a study conducted at the University of Copenhagen, when we compare our everyday lives to other people's highlight reels – which is all social media is – we begin to feel envious. When you compare your private self to other people's public personas, you will inevitably feel inferior!
Jealousy is comparable to physical pain
What is the issue with jealousy? On a daily basis, it may appear to be a minor annoyance, but the effects can build up over time. According to a study published in the journal Science, envy and physical pain use the same brain regions.
It is painful to be jealous, and it can become a bad habit. You can become a bitter person over time if you spend too much time analyzing your own flaws rather than living life.
So, how can you combat social media envy?
Remove boastful people from your list of friends.
Unfollow or delete people you follow if they make a point of flaunting themselves at every opportunity. In any case, boastful people are rarely good friends. If you must communicate with them, use texting or instant messaging instead.
Don't be afraid to highlight positive aspects of your own life
Spread the joy if you have some good news to share! There is nothing wrong with highlighting your accomplishments and highlights on your profile. Only when done to excess or to make others jealous should you reconsider your behavior. Others may have good lives, but chances are you have good moments as well.
You could also create a private profile that only you will be able to see. Make this private profile as upbeat or even boastful as you want. It may appear ridiculous, but it could be beneficial to one's self-esteem.
Limit your time spent on social media
The simplest way to avoid feeling envious is to limit your time spent reading other people's posts. Never allow yourself to lose track of time scrolling through a feed or a photo album. Set a reasonable daily time limit for yourself and stick to it.
Use social media to connect rather than compare
Social networks are intended for positive interactions rather than pointless and harmful comparisons. Keep your attention where it belongs: on the task at hand. Rather than turning it into a competition, take a genuine interest in other people's activities, lives, and opinions.
You do not have to completely abandon Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. They are excellent tools for communicating with others. To combat jealousy, however, you must maintain a balanced perspective and be willing to take a step back when necessary.
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