I did something recently that I thought I’d never do. I unfollowed somebody I knew on social media. (*Gasp*)
For years, I have toyed with the notion of implementing a Facebook purge. For years, I have considered the great social media cleanse that so many others perform on a regular basis. Usually I like to keep my options open though and keep the possibility of checking in with friends that have become distant acquaintances. Besides, I imagine it would be awkward when you initially unfriend somebody and then you have to refriend (let’s pretend that’s a word) them when you get back into contact with them.
The reason I stopped following them? Jealousy.
I chose to block somebody from my feed because I noticed that jealousy was becoming more common place in my own heart. I noticed the much talked about link between social media and jealousy became true in my heart, you know that trend mentioned in articles every so often. Sadly, those became a reality in my own life, and it prompted me to look down on my own life.
It is true though, that social media does promote shared experience through funny photos and witty comments, which I love. However, the flipside of that is the fact that all we usually see of our friends online are the bright polished side of the individual. We don’t see the fights that were a prelude to the nice family pictures. We don’t see the credit card bill approaching a balance of five digits that paid for that dinner at the fancy restaurant. The trip to Hawaii that looked so incredible on your news feed was really a trip away from domestic chaos.
In one of my favorite films, George Bailey was given a new sense of appreciation for the life he had at the close of the film It’s a Wonderful Life. Quite honestly I take the many blessings I have for granted when I compared myself to another person’s highlight-reel life. Certainly, I have my share of fights, breakdowns, uncertainties, and horrible events, but I know that God has blessed me with so many good things. Through this event, I learned to be proactive in rooting out causes that might inflame jealousy in my own heart. I genuinely hope that that person lives it up in every way possible and I wish them the best. For me? I need to cut out envy and live the life God has called me to live.
That’s why I did the unthinkable, and chose to click the unfollow button.
How do you battle social media jealousy?
**BONUS** Chris Peek offered another reminder at Trail Reflections on this topic. He wrote about the necessity of praying for others (great thought, right?). Peek wrote, “Whether the thoughts about another individual are halting your progress or you recognize their self-destructive ways when they don’t, give it over to God.” A great reminder, I don’t have to compare myself to that individual, I need to focus on Christ and my growth in Him (and bring that person to God in prayer).