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Facebook Envy

If we’re facebook friends, chances are I’ve been jealous of you. You, with your great vacation shots and funny one-liners about your husband and kids.

If we’re facebook friends, you may have even been jealous of me. Me, with my life in a foreign country complete with exciting places to travel to and exotic foods to eat.

“Facebook envy.” They’re starting to do studies on this hyperreality that is created by seeing exciting snippets of each other’s lives. Which parties have we missed? What else could life have held for us? Who posts more verses and is therefore godlier than us?

What’s a Christian on facebook to do?

If we’re facebook friends, chances are I’ve been jealous of you. You, with your great vacation shots and funny one-liners about your husband and kids.

If we’re facebook friends, you may have even been jealous of me. Me, with my life in a foreign country complete with exciting places to travel to and exotic foods to eat.

“Facebook envy.” They’re starting to do studies on this hyperreality that is created by seeing exciting snippets of each other’s lives. Which parties have we missed? What else could life have held for us? Who posts more verses and is therefore godlier than us?

What’s a Christian on facebook to do?


Here’s some ideas on how to combat that facebook envy:

  • Remember facebook posts are the most exciting snippets of someone’s life. This is not the whole picture of someone’s life. We don’t post the bad stuff (unless it’s so super bad we need others to know about it). We don’t even post the hum-drum stuff. We post the highlights—the “best of my life” reel. Try to remember what you see is not the whole picture of what’s really going on.
  • Look at your own facebook page with fresh eyes. Once you look at your own facebook page, you may see that your life could also instill such envy. Your oh so witty comments and funny pictures. Your family who cares so much about you. Your recent vacation to Bali. As Meghan Daum of the LA Times put it: “If you didn't know better, would you be writhing in envy at yourself?”.
  • Stop all this comparing anyway. Why do we do it? Did we really need to go to social networks to find even more ways to compare ourselves to others? I’ve got enough comparing going on right here in my own sphere. Seriously, I need to take a break! But how do we stop comparing? The only way I’ve found is to keep up the mantra that I am created in God’s image, loved fully by Him, and my purpose here is to love others. It’s not to have fun, go on exotic vacations, or be witty. Nothing wrong with those things per se, but they’re not the point of life—He is.

So, when facebook envy’s got it’s claws in you, try to remember psalm 139. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, whether you’ve got a great status update to put out there or not.
 

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Heather Goodman received her Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary and currently homeschools her three children. Her writing can be found in If:Equip, Art House, and other publications.

2 Comments

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    SonShine

    super
    I am adding this note to my 10 guidelines notes from the webinar I “attended” done by Mari Smith on Monday.A really good reminder and a point our panel group needs to add to the list and handout we are going to make for the DTS Women’s Conference in Nov.
    Thanks Jamie!