If keeping up with the Joneses is raising your day to day stress levels, have no fear – it happens to everyone! As social media takes over our life we are faced with new social challenges that have never been seen before to this grandeur in human history. As news media becomes neighbour media, everyday we see the proverbial Joneses in the face of everyone we follow, as they take lavish vacations, birth beautiful children, buy and sell homes and receive sought after promotions.
And where are we in all of this? Infamously lurking behind on Facebook, watching everyone go about their daily lives and gradually becoming more concerned about our own social status. When was the last time we celebrated something? When was the last time we had something to be proud of to show? When was the last time we posted something that got "100 Likes" on Facebook or new followers on Instagram? How come she has so many followers and I don't?
There are some brilliant art commentaries out there on the internet about how today we validate our self worth by the amount of "likes" we get, the amount of "friends" we have, and so on and so forth. They hit us right where it counts because we are all aware that it happens to us. Think about the last time you made a good post – you felt good. Then a few minutes later you felt a buzz in your pocket; you will open your phone to see who liked your post… who commented on your post… who shared your post…
That act of social activity has now taken over your day until you grow tired of waiting for Likes. You feel better when more people like it, and feel estranged when no one likes it at all, or someone comments something you did not expect. It's normal, it happens, we all do it.
The pinnacle era of human comparison is on us, and it's our duty to our health to see it for the entertainment that it is without becoming critical of ourselves, for of course self – criticism is the easiest and most accessible scapegoat when it comes to personal judgement.
Remember that you are a humble person. The reason you do not seek validation from things like this is because you are already happy with yourself. You know you do not need reassurance from the internet to show yourself that you are having a good day, or that what you did was worthy of praise.
You are the kind of person who can leave a tip when the barista isn't looking, the person who will donate to a charity when no one asked, the person who can dance when no one is watching because you are happy with your life. You don't need the approval of friends, acquaintances and strangers for you to remember what you already know. Learning to give praise without receiving it is a fundamental concept in religions and moral ethics that we learn from childhood. It is our ability to congratulate others for their merits when we have no expectations to receive any such p raise for ourselves. We have to earn it, just as they did.
Should you be jealous? Why? Who cares?
Although I do not think comparing each other is a good way to usurp other people's credits, maybe sometimes it's a good way to keep things in perspective.
I had a great friend from University who was always quite the go-getter. He always posted about his academic achievements and great field trips into the wilderness for scientific research. I was living an enjoyable life myself, but I didn't have a constant reminder of it. I did however, always have a constant reminder of his enjoyable life. Recently he had really achieved the american dream with his newest post of his new car and new job, at a high up banking agency. I was very happy for him, and wondered, was I jealous of his success? Did he do it right, and I, did not?
A little more research into it and I recognized that his new job and home was in one of the smallest towns in our area, with the highest rates of depression, child teen pregnancy, adolescent drug use and other unfortunate statistics. Although it seemed like he was about to start a great life with his career and assets, I became more thankful for my own life in the city where I enjoyed a more cosmopolitan life with more amenities and less of a poor reputation.
Whenever we are congratulating someone for their efforts, is a time to reflect the feelings back onto ourselves and look inside to allow our self to congratulate ourselves for our milestones and successes. There is plenty of love and space in the world to offer pats on the back to everyone around us as well as ourselves. We don't have to be jealous about anyone's life because we have our own amazing life to lead. And isn't that worth celebrating?
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