Is Facebook Turning You Into The Jealous Friend?

Get rid of your social media-induced jealousy in three easy steps. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

We've all felt it. That little pang of jealousy you get every now and again while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Maybe it happens when you're flipping through one too many photos of your friend's perfect European vacation. Maybe it's the status updates about your high school BFF's perfect boyfriend/fiance/husband. Everyone else seems to have the perfect life, and they're more than happy to talk about it - over and over and over again.

Don't let the jealousy build up until you find yourself rolling your eyes at your BFF status updates. Or worse, completely hating your own life. If this sounds like you, follow these three easy steps to stop yourself from turning into that frenemy that no one likes to hang out with.

1. Remember that it's not real.

I know - you've heard it a million times before. The picture-perfect lives your friends present on their social media accounts aren't even close to being real. It's not like they're eating Insta-worthy meals every day or spending every afternoon skydiving (unless they are, in which case I can totally understand why you're jealous). But just as your own life is made up of good moments and bad, so is theirs - what you're seeing is essentially the highlight reel. Once you realize (and make yourself actually believe) that no one's life is made up of only the good stuff, that everyone is struggling with highs and lows just like you are, then the less jealousy you'll have to struggle with.

2. Log off.

This is probably the most important step. While giving up social media all together may be a little too drastic (or, for many of us, impossible), monitoring your time on sites like Facebook and Instagram is not doable and healthy. It's a lot easier not to obsess over the grass being greener in someone else's yard if you're not staring at pictures of it all day, right? If you find yourself starting to feel some type of way while scrolling through your news feed, then take that as your cue to log off.

3. Work on yourself.

Whenever you start to feel jealous and discontent with your own life, take those negative feelings and turn them into action (and no, leaving passive-aggressive status updates is not the type of action I'm talking about here). If you wish you could travel like seemingly everyone else in your feed, then think about what steps you can take to make that happen. Maybe you have to start small. Nothing wrong with a day trip 4 hours away instead of backpacking through Europe. Keep working toward change in your own life. In the long run, you'll be more content with yourself and genuinely happy for others. 

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