Social Media and the Green Eyed Monster

social media

Recent events have revealed how easy it is to portray a perfect, yet perfectly false, life on social media. A simple, so-called casual pose, can actually be hiding a thousand secrets behind it. But all we see is the pretty smile.

We previously did a post on jealousy in marriage, and how social media can destroy it, but it’s not just marriage it can destroy. It can destroy your life.

In our world of hyper-media, we see thousands of images a day, whether it’s on TV, on the subway, on billboards, or on the screens of our favourite companions: our phones. With the rise of Facebook and Instagram, celebrities aren’t the only ones that can portray a perfect life: everyone can. It’s just a filter away.

We don’t know the story behind that perfect picture. We don’t know the struggles and the pain behind the smiles. Nor do we know the amount of artifice that went behind that pose. All we see is the picture.

But we’re so quick to judge. All we see is the picture and the green eyed monster inside of us is so quick to stir. Jealousy bubbles inside of us before we know it, and we begin to compare ourselves to our friends, our family, and random strangers on the internet. Their life looks perfect! So why can’t ours be perfect too?

We don’t know the stores behind the pictures. We don’t know that a couple has been going through a rough patch, and that’s why they went out for a celebratory dinner; we don’t know that a man has been saving his entire life to go on this amazing trip; or that a woman has been studying so hard when she got into an Ivy League university. All we see are the pictures. We don’t see the work, the pain, the struggle, or the challenges that people have gone through before posting that celebratory or happy picture. We only see the end result, we don’t see the struggle. Yet we still feel jealous, thinking that if they can have it, why can’t we?

The thing is we don’t take pictures of the sadness. We don’t take pictures of the ugliness in our lives, only the photo-worthy things. And so we don’t see the mess. We just see the sparkle. We don’t always wake up looking pretty nor do some of us look beautiful when we cry nor do our relationships play out like Jane Austen novels. That’s just the image we project. The rest we keep hidden.

But before we begin bashing others and feeling our insides burn with jealousy, we need to remind ourselves that we are only seeing one picture, one glimpse, one peek into another person’s life. We don’t have a clue what goes on when the camera isn’t on- even though the world of social media makes us believe that the camera is always on.

No one is perfect. No matter how hard they try to make it seem that way on social media. We are all flawed people, and none of us live glossy, polished lives like we see in magazines.

Social media has done wonderful things to bring us together. But it also has the power to separate us, to feel insecure in our own lives, and like we don’t have enough.

So the next time you find yourself falling prey to the green eyed monster, remind yourself that you’re only seeing part of the truth, not the whole truth. And then be grateful for all that you have,

With love.

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