The Grass is Always Greener on Facebook

JULY 25, 2013
Photo: Kathryn Schledwitz

Photo: Kathryn Schledwitz

Please tell me you have people you “virtually” stalk online, simply because of their fabulous-seeming lives. You know who I’m talking about.

  • The Facebook friend with the three immaculately-dressed little girls, each with her own Pottery Barn-clad room

  • The LinkedIn contact whose job promotions happen more quickly than your milk can expire

  • The Instagram follower who is somehow always on vacation in a new, fabulous locale

  • The college acquaintance who frequently pins Louboutin shoes, Mercedes cars, and Birkin bags to a Pinterest board called “Birthday gifts”

…do I need to keep going?

Comparison is some evil stuff, my friends. And social media and the blogging world often times only make it worse.  Facebook is like a pep rally for people’s lives…their “amaaaazing” significant others…Pinterest-worthy houses….families who always get along in perfect harmony…and more gag-inducing posts of splendor that, nevertheless, somehow make us feel inferior. It is just so easy to get caught up in everything you don’t have, and once you do, those comparisons can become all-consuming.

But regardless of the social media created glamour, as I get older I’m starting to realize the old adage really is true: everyone has problems.

Yes, EVERYONE. And not just little problems, like being stuck in traffic jams or getting the wrong Starbucks order. Everyone has at least one deep, dark problem they really wish was different. The kind of problem that they don’t want others to know about. So while we might know the good in someone’s life, we may not know the bad or the ugly, making comparison rather futile.

Hey, I’m guilty of it too. I know I’m certainly not posting photos and stories about the things that make me most anxious and upset, thus meaning I’m really only contributing to the social media madness. Le sigh.

To help personally combat twinges of jealousy and the urge to compare my life to others, I’ve been trying to keep track of what I’m grateful for. I know..I know…journaling about these things is totally Oprah circa 2004 and kind of cheesy. But taking two minutes each day to jot down what I’m thankful for really helps keep the following words and phrases OUT of my vocabulary:

  • Perfect

  • Should

  • What if

  • If only

  • Never

  • Always

  • She/he has

  • Fairy tale

  • Supposed to

Because the only constant in your life is YOU. So, as a wise Google search result once told me:

“Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.”

After all, while the grass on the other side may be greener, it’s probably because your neighbors just have a different kind of poo.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 COMMENT

  • Kathy Heckathorne 4 years ago

    The ability to realistically reflect upon life (with humor I might add) is called wisdom! I loved this!