I’m not proud about this but I’ll admit I have Facebook Envy, but before you jump to any wild conclusions let me elaborate on what I mean. I’m not talking about being envious of all my weird Facebook friends who I don’t really know, if they didn’t make such great blog fodder I would unfriend them immediately.
No, I’m really talking about my friends. You see, I don’t take a lot of pictures of me and my friends hanging out, and neither do my friends (at least not my ones here at Georgia Tech). As a result my Facebook is void of fun pictures of my hilarious antics. The problem is, my friends back in Vermont are. So as a result I log on to the old book face and find pictures like this:
And it makes me a little jealous, there I said it. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one, look this article from the Huffington Post agrees with me (if it’s on HuffPo it HAS to be true)! Why is that (I don’t know I didn’t read the HuffPo article)? What is it that Sam’s stupid smiling face makes me so resentful. Well I have a two pronged thesis to explain it.
The first prong is, quite simply, the fear of missing out or #FOMO for all you in the Twittersphere. I would reason to bet that everyone has experienced missing out at one point or another, it’s terrible. Few things are more saddening than arriving at school one day to find them all joking about turnips or some crap because it’s an “inside joke”. TURNIPS AREN’T FUNNY BRIAN (It’s funny because he has no idea what I’m talking about). Missing out on experiences, even ones as dumb as the turnip thing I totally made up for the purpose of this article (oh yeah I’m calling these articles now) makes us all incredibly sad. So when you go onto Facebook and see that “Sam and Brian climbed Mt. Mansefield and it was awesome!” it makes you feel like you missed out, and depression ensues.
The second prong is all about superiority. What do people post on Facebook? It’s almost always the cool things they’ve done, the cool adventure, the amazing party, etc. People generally don’t post all the bad things that have happened to them, unless of course they’re going online to complain about them, but those people are annoying. So when you go onto Facebook you see all the great things that they’ve done, and you’ll inevitably do the thing that all humans do, you compare those things to your own accomplishments. But here’s the thing, you’ll also compare them to all the bad things that have happened to you. So while your view of what’s happened to you is probably pretty neutral, some good, some bad, the one your comparing yourself to is extremely biased towards the good. So naturally what happens is you feel inferior, you ask yourself, “why isn’t my life as fun and adventurous as Sam’s?”
So now you feel like your life sucks, because by the standard of the people on Facebook it should be a lot more fun. Which illicits one of two reactions. Either you A) just feel sad and mopey (inferiority complex) , or 2) you try to overcompensate by going out and doing something super awesome so you can brag about it to all your Facebook friends and make them feel crumpy (superiority complex).
But like I said, Facebook only shows the best image of you. It shows people what you want them to see. The image people put out of themselves is groomed, it’s edited, it’s, wait for it, fake. So hold on, we have people trying to compare themselves to a fake image of reality that totally glosses over the hard facts of life, instead presenting a beautified and wholly unrealistic version of reality…hm, what does that sound like.
I’ll let you think that last one over, and in the meantime, I’m gonna stop trolling Sam’s Facebook page and instead go back to studying for Finals, yay!