Are You One Of THOSE People?

One of those people who can’t spend any time on Facebook, or Snapchat, or Instagram because social media makes you feel anxious, depressed, sad or lonely?

Are you one of those who used to be satisfied with your income, your house, your car, your spouse, and your career before your daily dose of Facebook?

Are you one of those people who used to be happy with the way you looked until you saw how fabulous some of your friends looked on their social media accounts?

Are you one of those people who feel a stab in the heart every time your friends’ vacation photos from all those far-away places start to endlessly fill-up your news feed? Are you engulfed with jealousy to the point that you can’t be happy for them?

Are you one of those people who feel a twinge of sadness about your own life when posts and pictures from your happy friends and their seemingly carefree lives scroll achingly past you?

Are you one of those people who refuse to “like” or comment on any post because you don’t want your happy, successful friend to know that you know that they are happy and successful? Can you really be that petty? And how do you feel about yourself after you’ve failed to connect with their posts? Are you happy with yourself for ignoring them?

Are you one of those people who make snarky comments under your breath when you see successful posts of others? Comments like, “She’s only successful because of her husband,” or “How can they afford that?” or “At least I still have my hair!”

Are you one of those who can no longer feel happy for the successes of others because with each new success you feel more and more like a loser? Each successful post from a friend seems to be a direct hit at your own flaws and failures. Your friend buys a beautiful new house and suddenly you are ashamed of your own. Your house was lovely yesterday, but today it needs a lot of work and now you want to move. Does this sound like you?

Are you one of those who have become so warped and jaded by all of today’s social apps that you have gone from being a good and happy person into a self-doubting, selfish, and jealously riddled SOB?

Are you one of those people who have gotten so caught up in the whirlwind of social media, that the good life you thought you were living, really wasn’t good at all? You now feel saddened by your life choices because you’ve obviously screwed everything up and there are all these success stories on Facebook to prove it. With each success story comes an even greater sense of resentment and an even greater sense of where you went wrong.

Are you one of those people who finally got to the point where you couldn’t take it anymore and you removed yourself from social media? Once removed, did you seethe in secret because you were weak and shallow and that made you feel just as bad? Your failures have taken you out of the game. You made all the wrong decisions and now you can’t be a part of the big, world-wide media party. You’re left out of all the fun, the camaraderie, the posts and the pictures — you’re an outsider. You don’t feel like you belong and that’s the take-away. You feel like you’ve been left out of the party and that makes you feel terrible.

I realize that these may be extreme examples, but I know people like this, and chances are that you do, too.

I give them all the same advice, even when they don’t ask for it. You can’t spend time ruminating over someone else’s life. You have your own life to live — concentrate on living it. If you don’t like something about yourself, is it something that you can change or is it something that you can improve? If you don’t like something about your life, is it something that you can change or is it something that you can improve? And I also ask them to look inside themselves and question why they can’t feel joy for others. Happiness is contagious. Chances are if you let yourself experience joy for others then that joy will boomerang back to you. That may sound sappy, but I think it’s true. Happy, contented people are much more pleasurable to be around and make for a much happier, contented world. Even if that world is on Facebook.

Robin is a writer/photographer who lives in Montana and happily gets to travel the state to photograph the beauty and document the stories.

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