A few months back, José sent me the link to an article in Time Magazine : ‘ Why Facebook Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself‘. While I would urge you to read the article, I’d like to share two excerpts from it.
The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.
Overall, however, shared content does not have to be “explicitly boastful” for envy feelings to emerge. In fact, a lonely user might envy numerous birthday wishes his more sociable peer receives on his FB Wall. Equally, a friend’s change in the relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship” might cause emotional havoc for someone undergoing a painful breakup. (based on on-going studies at two German universities)
Perhaps you, like me, will laugh at this. And I did. Until, I began to watch my responses closely and own my feelings. There’s no doubt that there was a bit of envy on my part when I saw friends sharing pictures of their exotic holidays or someone’s article making it to a top website or magazine. Enough to make me feel that I was not achieving enough. Or that my life was not as exciting as some of theirs seemed. And enough to make me feel that I was ‘ordinary’.
I had to give myself a good talking to. What was wrong about being ‘ordinary’? Haven’t I made conscious choices to lead a simple life? Why did I fear being ordinary? Am I worried that no one will talk about me long after I’ve gone? Would’nt I rather be myself, enjoy my ‘ordinariness’ and celebrate the ‘ordinary miracles‘ of daily life?
“I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”–Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
Sharing one of my favourite songs again :
The fear of being ordinary – that’s one fear I’m ridding myself of today. What about you?