If you have got apparently everything that requires being happy but still you feel remorse, then you probably are stuck in “comparison trap”. Social comparison is bad but normal but if you are not careful, Facebook will amplify this envy many times more and you will be stuck in the trap
Regardless you have got a nice house, a car, an excellent job and nice family, will do no good because as soon you log in Facebook, you will find that your friends have more fabulous lives than yours, their cars are bigger and not least, they have perfect families. These will make feel like a loser.
I was frustrated, too. I had a successful life, I did not lack much in life. But since I started using Facebook, I felt myself worthless compared to friends were living amazing lives, enjoying luxury travels, had latest cars and beautiful house. It never crossed my mind that those could be exaggerated or fake. I did not take me a long time before I found out the truth of Facebook life.
Let me tell you how my eyes were opened. I knew a person who used to play Slot machines. He never had any money and occasionally borrowed money from me. Suddenly, one day he posted a photo apparently driving a BMW 640 Coupe. How could it be possible? Some Facebook friends lost night sleep.
Next day, he came to me again to borrow money. He was not riding the latest BMV but an old bicycle. I asked him where his BMV was. Then he told me the story. A BMW car dealer arranged “Open house” in his showroom and he had an opportunity to sit in the car and take a photo. This was how the story started.
I personally know a person who does not have money to buy a cup of coffee but he sometimes posts “checked in Hotel Hilton”. He probably did when passed by the Hotel Hilton. I have friends who have big abdominal obesity but when they take photos they take only the upper part of the body and after further editing post those on Facebook. They do not look bad on Facebook. The way people crop their photo, they crop their lives too and a fraction of their lives, only the good is shown on Facebook.
Those personal revelling helped me to get rid of “comparison trap” created by Facebook.
We know that a life on Facebook is a fictional life. But surprisingly, many people are fascinated by this fictional life, probably the same way as people are fascinated by movies and life of celebrities.
Many people compare themselves with their idols and celebrities who have name, fame wealth and fans- apparently everything. You again see part of their life. You do not see how miserable lives they live and how often they see shrinks for their problems.
You got to understand that all those fictional lives are not real. A very reliable research shows that more than 75% people exaggerate to make their life more exciting in social media. I conducted my personal observations and found out that I was, in real life doing better than other Facebook friends of mine. I could clearly see those fake life on Facebook. Do your personal research too, you will find the same result as mine. You will feel good and relaxed when you find out that your jealousy is baseless. I had other interesting findings. I found among my friends those couples who feel more insecure about their relationship, try to paint their romantic life more on Facebook. I found also that people feel insecure about their jobs, they highlight their career more on Facebook.
The comparison is basic human nature, you can not shut it down but don’t let Facebook multiply it. If it happens comparison can cause serious pathological jealousy.
Originally published at medium.com