Why You Should Think Twice About Who You Envy On Social Media

by Genevieve Adams

You may enjoy it, but you definitely don’t need it.

Social media sites were created for the purpose of staying in touch with friends, but ultimately they've forced entry into the lives of others from multiple platforms, at all hours of the day.

This is a problem because while you’re sitting in your parents' basement watching Netflix, hitting the Barefoot Zinfandel, some girl you graduated from college with is in NYC holding a $15 martini in her latest Instagram picture. You immediately turn green and it’s not from the cheap booze.

While browsing through your social media feed, you also run into the “I-work-in-a-high-rise-building” acquaintance and the “I-work-with-semi-famous-people” girl.

This redefines social media as a boasting tool, a means for people to broadcast their best moments for those watching to be under the impression that this opulence is an everyday occurrence.

Whether it is intentional or not, this difference between sharing and showing is the new line being drawn for our generation. Maybe it’s just my personal experience, but the people I know to be truly happy, don’t feel the need to incessantly post that they are, in fact, happy.

This new-age dynamic of proving your success to the world is a phenomenon that won’t slow down until Generation-Y is content keeping some things personal. Keeping our emotions locked out of cyber-space is very difficult for Gen-Y for some reason.

It’s as if there isn't a post, tweet or share, it doesn't have concrete satisfaction. And because people, for the most part, only share the good things with you, they are seemingly far more successful and content with their lives.

This happiness isn’t necessarily real. There are ways to create this façade of a lifestyle that only those in our exclusive inner-circle know the truth about.

Members of our generation tend to follow hundreds of people on social media. Some people you know well, some you’ve met once, and some are random strangers who live on the other side of the world, but whose lifestyles you envy. Although it may seem like you do, you almost never know the real story behind each extravagant post.

What I find most infuriating about this topic is the repeat offender. Those who consistently have something to say about how #blessed they are.

Yes, you live in a large city. But you also live with four strangers you found on Craigslist and are not even being paid for your internship at a random company where your uncle is the vice president. #Bummer.

Why should someone put you down about what you actually deemed a semi-charmed life, when little do you know they haven’t eaten anything but Ramen for the past two weeks? They failed to publicly announce that small detail.

The social media boasting competition is never complete without the infamous boyfriend-bragger. You know someone’s relationship is damned if every other picture is of them being “so happy to have found the one.”

When girls constantly post pictures with hashtags like, #inlove, #boyfriend, and #couple, it is obvious that their relationship is not what they make it out to be.

Social media PDA is one of the most nauseating and unnecessary torture devices to have swept our generation. Love is something that can’t be measured by anyone else but yourself, so what are you gaining from showcasing this “love” across the Internet? You don’t get butterflies from tweeting, but from interacting with the one you love.

The most difficult part of this emotional roller coaster of envy is the inability to avoid it. The only way out is to be completely shut off from the social world.

This is very unlikely to happen, and for all intents and purposes, it shouldn't. My recipe for nixing envy is to take each post with a grain of salt, and to realize that your life is great for real reasons.

If you’re reading this, you have a smart phone or a computer, which is more than a lot of other people around the world can say. If you're reading Elite Daily or any forum site, something tells me you are well informed on pop-culture or some other areas of concern.

Which is again, more than a lot of people can say. Think about your life in the big picture. Being content comes with seeing it from all angles, appreciating what you do have.

The moral of the story: don’t contribute things to your timeline unless you want your followers to see it for the right reasons. There are so many variables to social media that are unbeknownst to the random acquaintances and people you haven’t seen since you went to summer camp with them 10 years ago.

Who are they to judge your life, or vice versa? There’s encouragement in knowing these cyber-lives are not real. They are nothing but poorly communicated events and an attempt to self-validate. Keep remembering everything is relative. The grass is always greener through a filter.

Top Photo Credit: RKOI