I wrote this on my facebook and it seemed to resonate with a lot of people:
Today I saw something on Facebook that made me jealous and instead of wishing that person got hit in the head with a sled and wondering why my life isn’t like that and what’s so bad about me and screw everyone, I instead thought, “How nice for this person, I’m glad they’re doing well, and I ate a lot of cheese tonight so I’m pretty okay too.”
I’ve talked about overcoming jealously before but it seems like now that Facebook is as big a monster as ever before, and now that Google+ has arrived (LOL just kidding, no one cares about Google+) I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends feel more insecure about themselves. Someone will say something about how so-and-so has a great life and career and call them a “bitch” or a “slut” and I say, how do you know this, I haven’t seen that person since high school, and the answer is always the same:
Here’s what you can do: you can feel bad about or yourself or you can comment on that person’s post, “That’s awesome!” or something. It’s okay if you don’t fully mean it, as long as it doesn’t come off as sarcastic. Because eventually you will mean it. “The more you give, the more you get.” — Paul McCartney and probably lots of other people. This was a really hard lesson for me to learn. First I had to realize it. My thinking was, “Why the hell should I be happy for this person, they’re a jerk and I’m awesome and nothing great is happening for me.” But thinking that way didn’t make me more successful. And it didn’t make them less successful. It just put me in a bad mood.
And I guarantee you that for every Facebook post you see about someone’s awesome life, there’s about two that you don’t. Remember, few people are going to post things like, “Today I cried on the phone with my therapist and gave up on my life.” Actually you might see me post that. But that’s not because I’m looking for sympathy, it’s because I have no filter at all, and just tell it like it is. This actually got me in trouble today and I feel horrible about it. I have to learn to say things in my head before I speak them. (And I really am sorry and I heart you very much.)
OK so. Conan O’Brien kind of changed my life when he said, “If you work hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Work Hard & Be Kind has become my motto, my mantra, my manatee. (I needed to keep the alliteration going.) When you do this, amazing things DO happen. When you help your friends, they help you. At the core, all people really want is to feel okay. Not even great, just okay. And it’s so easy to make someone feel okay. All you have to do is sign onto Facebook and “like” something. Again, at first it will feel like you’re lying to yourself, but you’ll soon realize that people are honestly touched when you reach out, especially if you’re the kind of person who never does. Some people are genuine assholes, but those people have terrible parents, so it’s only half their fault and really you should feel badly for them. Even if they have their own house that their parents paid for and they have a great job that their parents got them. Because again, there’s no reason to wish them harm. It’s not going to get you anywhere.
Geez, this went on long enough. Tell me, does Facebook make you jealous? Studies have shown that it has this effect on people. What do you do to overcome jealously, or do you not bother?