Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Comparing Ourself With Others on Facebook

There is a saying in the Bible that says

“If your eye offend thee, pluck it out.”  (Matthew 18:9)

When I look at Facebook, my eye offends me.  In fact, I have found that it is not only my eye that offends me, but also my thoughts.   (A)social media websites were, at one time, thought as a way for people to keep in contact with others.  Over time that view has began to shift.  While some still think that sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to keep connections with others, the dark reality is that they are devices in which people compare themselves to others.  Now may be a good time to LinkOut, if you know what I mean.

When we feel bad about our lives and look at the lives of people that we have relationships and connections with and see that they are doing better than us, we often feel bitter about our own lives.  But, we have to stand back for a minute and ask ourselves: Are the lives of others that we are comparing ourselves to really as great as they seem on the internet?

What if LinkedIn profiles stated these types of facts?
Oftentimes we pick and choose a part of someone else’s life that we want to have.  For example, one of our LinkedIn connections may have a better job than us, and we feel jealous about their position.  Yet, when we look at their entire life, is it something that is as perfect as it seems?  Does the LinkedIn connection tell the world about his status as a registered sex offender?  Does the LinkedIn connection share with the world that, besides having a job as a vice president, that he has an addiction to heroin that is starting to spiral out of control and interfere with his marriage?  Does the person on Facebook who just shared pictures of his vacation that you are coveting so hard also share with you the fact that he has been contending with an intense case of chronic hemorrhoids that even his doctor is baffled by?  Does the LinkedIn connection that just got promoted and shares with the world that he can speak three languages and is transferring offices from New York to Singapore, complete with housing paid for and four months paid vacation also share with the rest of the world that his wife has been cheating on him with his brother for three years and he is too terrified to confront her about it even though he is confident and poised in an office setting?  Does he share with you that he sometimes has incontinence when he thinks about it? 

Does the person who shares with the world that she is getting married to a rich banker who lives in a really huge house in Santa Barbara also share the fact that she battled with miscarriages for six years and finally had a child who grew up to disown her over her religious beliefs?  

The truth is, (a)social networks are filled with half truths and do not paint a clear picture of a person’s entire life.  Why would a person share intimate facts like the ones above on a LinkedIn or Facebook profile?  The point of those sites is to make people show off their lives to the world.   Nobody wants to talk about wetting the bed on their Facebook profile.  Nobody is going to mention that they can not control their marriage on LinkedIn.  Sadly, most of us are too dumb to realize that most of what we are seeing is inflated egos bursting out of control on sites like these.  Much of what people put on LinkedIn profiles are inflated job descriptions that are worded to make them sound like they are amazing individuals who accomplish what is almost inhumanly possible.  On Facebook, many create a profile that is meant to strike at the heart of those who are they are jealous of or competitive with.  Many are vying against siblings who are also painting a rosy picture of their life and a huge amount of people do not want to play second fiddle to an older brother, a domineering sister, a bully from high school, or the guy who ended up stealing the heart of your girlfriend in college.  

(A)social media websites can make a person incredibly depressed when people compare themselves with others.  When we see the pictures of the new house, the perfect husband (he never raises his voice or farts in his sleep), or the car that we will probably never be able to afford, we get very jealous.  

If we can not control our feelings we should consider not going to these sites.  The truth is, many people log out of sites like these feeling discontent with their own lives because they think that the lives of others is better than theirs, even though they have no clue what the other person’s life is really like.  Do you feel angry when you leave Facebook?  Do you compare your life with other people on these websites?  Why log in then?  What is Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as other websites, doing for you?  Is it making your life better or does it just make you feel depressed?  Are you spending too much time thinking about other people on and off (a)social media?  If so, now is a great time to walk away.  Tell yourself that your life is too important to waste on the internet. You have better things to do than compare yourself with others.  Why covet the lives of other people when we have our lives to live?  If you are spending your time on Facebook and other such sites, chances are, you are going to stagnate in life and not move forward.  Unplug yourself and do something today to make your life a better life.  Tackle the real problems in your life and leave the fantasy world of (a)social media behind.


  1. People claim that they want privacy and to live private lives, yet they are so busy on these social networking sites, comparing themselves with others. Talk about hypocrisy!

  2. Agree with your article... Facebook is nothing more then a "Good News Show" which can indeed instill a feeling of jealousy or inferiority. Aside from the constant narcissism and useless info ("Hey! I just ate dinner at ") there isn't much value.

    It is handy though to get up to date on certain events or groups (like a band) or organize a get-together with some friends using a group conversation. However I just deactivated my account myself since it doesn't really make me happy... after that you notice how much the service is entwined in other stuff (like Spotify) which suddenly stops working without an active account.

  3. "Many are vying against siblings who are also painting a rosy picture of their life and a huge amount of people do not want to play second fiddle to an older brother, a domineering sister, etc"

    This was the biggest reason why I decided to get rid of my Facebook. I deleted my facebook for a whole year, and got back on ONLY to create a business page. I do not entertain my personal page. Anyways, I have an older sister who is perfect in the eyes of everyone. I have accomplished a lot in my life, and no matter what, people still see me as second place. Looking how people in my hometown would treat my sister better than me and compare our lives on FB, really killed my self-esteem and put my accomplishments to shame. I deleted and blocked everyone on my page and only used my FB "Like" page, to promote my business. I am not on my personal page at all! You are right. Facebook is a war zone when it comes to others comparing your life. When I blocked and deleted "family" and "friends" who were not for me but against me, I felt like I got my life back! No more Facebook for me. It is not good for me.