Like Paul McCartney.

fashion's night out

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:

Facebook.

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?

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31 thoughts on “Like Paul McCartney.

  1. J Gaz

    “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.”

    I kind of love you more than Tina Fey. And by “kind of” I mean “OMG SO MUCH I’M OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW RIGHT NOW”

    Seriously, though, well said. It seems that for the first time in my life this is something I’m struggling with, and over the past few months you’ve unwittingly kept me in check. It’s true.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      YES. YES TO THAT QUOTE. YES. THAT IS EXACTLY IT.

      And thanks for loving me more than Tiny Fey, that means a lot.

      And thanks for that last part too.

      xxo.

  2. B

    Well put.

    My story: My Mom was so frustrated by this phenomenon on Facebook that she deleted her account. She’s 58. WELL beyond the wildly self-conscious 20/30-something years. Oh, my poor mother… but, it made her feel better so I guess the moral of this story is if you don’t have anything nice to say, take yourself out of the situation.

    :)

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      That’s interesting to know that it doesn’t effect just a bunch of lost teens — 20 somethings.

  3. Allie

    O. M. G.

    This post (like most of your posts) is the story of my life. Post graduate school with too much free time, Facebook stalking all of my classmates and the people still in the program to see what they’re doing. Even if they’re not really doing anything, they just fill out an application and write about it.

    I’ve spent SO MUCH time allowing my daily read-through of the Facebook news feed ruin my entire day/week/outlook on life. Like B’s mom, I have seriously considered deleting Facebook from my life. Though in one way that solves the problem, it doesn’t really solve the HEART of the matter for me – which is not getting so caught up in what everyone else “says” they’re doing to appreciate the things I actually AM doing.

    And you’re so right – it’s really important to be able to be happy for someone, or at least seem supportive even if it’s eating away at your soul. Karma will come back to you.

    THANK YOU ALMIE.

  4. MC

    I hate haters, they are people who’ve thrown in the towel on a truly successful life, I’d like to think you and I minimize/suppress the hatin’ cause we have potential. I don’t see or participate in facebook jealousy, guess I’m oblivious. I just notice day to day examples, namely bureaucratic ones where frumpy secretaries deny pretty younger girls access to things they want/need.

  5. Caitlin

    GOD I LOVE YOUR BRAIN SO MUCH! Everything you write seems like it should be there, every word you use should come after the one right before it. Your smartness is effortless.

  6. ameena

    I used to suffer terribly from the facebook jealousies. There would be times I would log on and just feel myself getting sadder and sadder as I strolled through my newsfeed. Happy exes. Chipper status updates. Everyone had the best life ever and I was sitting in the dark stalking them on facebook. So then I deleted facebook for a couple of months, went through severe “I have no idea what is happening in the world!” withdrawals, reactivated it and proceeded to delete a lot of my “friends”. Turns out I don’t have to be facebook friends with my exes if I don’t want to. And that person I literally have not seen since high school graduatIon? Yup, don’t need to know all about their life either. Now that my newsfeed is full of people I legitimately care about, I’ve pretty much eliminated the jealousies. And facebook makes me happy again. Well, sort of.

  7. Matthew Meriwether

    Holy crap. This is the most inspirational thing I have ever read in all of my existence. And I’ve read (most of) The Diary of a Young Girl. And I’m not even kidding! I think this is my new mantra. My old one was “At the end of the day, I’m killing this shit!” by Kanye West. Although this new one isn’t written by Kanye, I think I like it more. Thank you for being the second greatest human alive.

  8. Jenny

    Man, am I SO glad I’m not alone in this. I’m smart and funny and have an awesome rack, but I’m not married with babies and a house and puppies!, which seems to be the FB feed trend as of late. A part of me hates them for being boring, and the other part craves what they have.

    Recently I found through the FB grapevine that a former crush had gotten back with his ex. They were TRAVELING EUROPE TOGETHER. “I’m happy for them, but not really,” I told my friend. And then she said something awesome: “Jenn? You don’t have to be happy for them.”

    Huh. Why didn’t I think of that.*

    *Obviously with close friends, you should probably at least pretend to be happy? But with the other randoms? Eff ’em.

  9. Michellemary

    Yes! I’m an art teacher and “work hard and be kind” is my manatee, too! In fact, I made a banner and hung it up in my classroom to remind the students. It can be super hard to remember when you’re in high school.

  10. ally

    well this other thing, which you totally touched on but i guess i put it in other words in my own mind… when you try to heal others (most of the time) that healing finds its way back to you. its interesting you could just delete your fb and never know that blah this person did blah and now they are successful. but because you are making a choice to have an fb and you know you are going to be drunk or stoned or whatever at some point and you will end up stalking peeps just because it is entertaining, you could give yourself the ole “grow up” speech before you ever look into anyone else’s life. ill thoughts breed ill thoughts. i just came out of this dark time where people were shit talking about one another so much, and i joined in which is something i swore against doing in jr. high. all the sudden i’m 24 and saying mean things about people, had to check myself and start surrounding myself with more positivity because nothing good was happening for me. remember mean girls? i think its good to revisit tina fey’s speech at the end. don’t call people names, its a waist of energy. and wasn’t it great when regina george started to play field hockey? some of you should consider that if you have “queen bee” tendencies, like go to a kick boxing class instead of calling people sluts bitches and whores and save us all from your unchill vibez.

  11. ally

    omgawd. sorry i didn’t read the other quotes before posting that.. someone already brought up mean girls. im lame. but also nice.

  12. Tony Archer

    What I hate about Facebook: It’s like an ongoing high school reunion. But unlike a reunion, you don’t get that head start and 10+ years of improving your life in secrecy so you can show up a huge success with a smoking hot wife and get to rub it in everyone’s faces and have that big “Screw you guys, I TOLD YOU I’d make it!” moment. No, everyone sees all of your posts about staying in and watching the Dominos Pizza tracker while you watch Doctor Who and knows that you’re looking for a real job and gets to read all of your drunken posts about how you’ll never find love and how even watching Smallville makes you cry because Clark Kent’s dad gave him a hug or something. You completely lose the element of surprise! It’s bullshit!

    What I love about Facebook: It’s like a high school reunion. You get to see people you hated in high school post about watching the Dominos Pizza Tracker and watching COPS (if you watch Doctor Who like I do, then I assume that you’re doing something right with your life and I cut you some slack). I also really enjoy seeing girls who I thought were goddesses in high school now and being able to say “What the hell was I thinking?”.
    Also, I genuinely love hearing about people doing well in their life because it inspires me to do great things too. I LOVE hearing about people being super in love and planning their weddings and getting excited about their upcoming parenthood (there is, of course, a limit to how much I can take of all of these things).

    Jealousy is a really funny thing. It’s kind of the big taboo that our modern society has and refuses to talk about. We hate to admit that we feel it to anyone, including ourselves. But it’s all just how you deal with it. It’s like when you watch a sappy romantic movie when you’re single, you can either mope around and cry about how you don’t have that kind of love or your can look to it for inspiration and say “I want THAT” and use it as fuel to better yourself.

  13. iampisspot

    LOVE, love, LOVE this post. I have been pondering over the whole Facebook thing for quite some time now – I’ve recently deleted a lot of ‘friends’ on there – I didn’t feel that they particularly added anything to my life or were the type of people I wanted to ‘virtually’ surround myself with. Although I often bitch and moan about Facebook on my blog, it’s all in jest; I do always try and positively comment on/congratulate their status updates and ‘like’ their things – you never know, it just might have been the only good thing going on in their life on that particular day.

    I run alot, and my gps thingamejig is *somehow* linked to my Facebook page and I can’t for the life of me remember how to turn it off, and so it uploads my runs as my Facebook update. Some of my ‘friends’ actually take the time to berate me for my exercise endeavours, or choose to comment in a very snarky fashion. It got me down at first, I actually felt like I was being overly smug/too happy/too fit, but then I figured that they’re just firing their own bullets – to protect themselves.

    Now I just let them commnt away.

    Your blog is amaze-balls, by the way :-)

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      “I run alot, and my gps thingamejig is *somehow* linked to my Facebook page and I can’t for the life of me remember how to turn it off, and so it uploads my runs as my Facebook update.”

      OH MY GOD THIS SOUNDS TERRIFYING!

      And thanks!

  14. Laura

    I’m like you, Almie. I am way too honest and open about everything, but interestingly enough, if you post something somewhat depressing and/or morbid, you get rarely any comments or “likes” – sometimes none! (although the latter is understandable), but when you post happy or exciting things, you get about 30+ comments and likes on that post- it appears the general public likes to hear good news rather than bad news, so I’m assuming people just stick to the good news as it generates more responses and feedback. Perhaps a lot of these people on facebook that are posting amazing updates are just filtering what’s going on in their real life to receive not just positive responses, but any response at all? Whatever the case is, it’s important to note that it’s the internet and not real life- things can still be drastically different at that 10 year high school reunion when you see the person face-to-face and hear what’s really going on in their lives. Great post, Almie. Keep it up, girl! xx

  15. Yvonne

    or people can just get off facebook!!! it’s life changing! turns out you don’t need to be on it, it doesn’t make you disappear, you don’t miss out on anything, and your life is much happier because your brain isn’t filled with so much irrelevant noise. getting rid of it makes experience so much richer because you aren’t thinking, o i’ll put this on facebook etc. and happiness is no longer gauged by status update blips… to think people actually believe that the satisfaction of an individual’s career or love life can be accurately measured by a status update, and that such a thing is worth gauging the worth and success of one’s own life against! it’s insanity! facebook is toxic. you don’t need it.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      But do you find that you still get invited to events without FB? It’s so easy to invite people to things using FB. I am so curious about the Facebook deleters of the world. You’re the real heroes.

      1. Yvonne

        well, the only events i want to attend are events that an actual friend invites me to… and since being off FB if someone i know wants me to go to their party etc, they email me. i only miss out on all the crap i dont want to go to anyway.

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