If you’re feeling blue, Facebook could be the culprit. Those hours spent on social media looking at other user’s exotic vacations, new sports cars, and adorable children could be making you depressed about your own circumstances.
That’s the conclusion a number of studies have reached. After all, social media is like a movie trailer that includes all the funny lines and memorable scenes without any of the boring moments. How can real life measure up when it looks more like the footage from a security camera at the mall?
If you want to stay connected on social media without developing an inferiority complex, study these tips. What you do on and offline can protect you from Facebook envy.
Steps to Take Online to Fight Facebook Jealousy
1. Hit the like button. When you notice a twinge of resentment creeping up, turn it into appreciation. Vote up those announcements from friends who received a promotion or bought shoes you wish you could afford.
2. Limit your hours. Track how much time you spend on Facebook, and how you feel afterwards. You might prefer to check your notifications just once a day.
3. Browse elsewhere. Search for more enriching content. Keeping up with news stories and research studies may give you more helpful information to share.
4. Weed out your news feed. Are there some posts that turn you green with envy? Consider hiding messages from some users, especially if you have little contact with them outside of social media.
5. Put away vacation photos. Vacation photos are the leading cause of Facebook envy, according to one study done in Germany. A whopping 56% of users said they sometimes resent seeing others frolicking on sandy beaches. You can stop the envy spiral and have more fun by sharing your vacation shots over coffee.
6. Respect privacy. Creeping or facestalking can be an especially intense form of jealousy. If you’re tempted to monitor the activities of a romantic partner, try communicating directly instead. If it’s an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s probably time to move on.
Steps to Take Offline to Fight Facebook Jealousy
1. Be yourself. Social media can be a happy place as long as you avoid comparing yourself to others. Understand your purpose and be guided by your own definition of success.
2. Count your blessings. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to Facebook envy. Start a journal listing the good things in your life.
3. Meet in person. Put down your phone and turn off the computer. Spend more time interacting with loved ones face-to-face. Attend a concert together instead of looking at each other’s pictures the day after.
4. Set goals. What triggers Facebook jealousy for you? The answer could teach you something about your priorities and the areas in your life where you may want to make an extra effort. If you’re stewing over the wedding plans of an acquaintance, it could be time to go out on a few first dates yourself.
5. Pursue a hobby. There are more productive ways to fill your leisure time if you decide to cut back on social media. Practice playing a musical instrument or start a flower garden.
6. Focus on giving. True happiness has more to do with serving others rather than trying to impress them. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day with a helping hand or a sincere compliment.
Facebook is a great platform for staying in touch with family and friends. Focus on sharing happiness and support instead of comparing yourself to others. You’ll be so busy enjoying the conversation that you’ll forget about being jealous.