Social media, comparisons and envy

Struggling with envy is difficult. Living in envy is even more difficult. If you’re struggling with envy, I encourage you to take a look at how much time you’re spending on social media or thinking about things you’ve seen on social media.

To make a long story … long (as I usually do), I was recently in a friend’s wedding. The day before, I was talking to my grandmother on the phone about my hair and makeup appointment and describing my dress. She asked me to send her a picture, so when we got to the church, my roommate and I (both of us were bridesmaids and looked very nice, I must say) took pictures of each other to send our families.

I sent the picture to my grandparents and my parents, and the next day my grandmother asked if she could post the picture on Facebook.

I had no issue with that she was asking for permission (which was kind) and also making sure she wouldn’t share the photo before I put it on my own social media channels. That’s when I told her I hadn’t shared anything on Facebook in … months. Maybe even a year. Even longer for Instagram. And I just straight-up deleted my Twitter profile.

Constant comparison and envy

Facebook and LinkedIn really are the only channels I still check, mostly just to read through notifications and do a bit of scrolling, but not much else. Social media had turned into a constant comparison, and usually even envy, issue for me. Instead of using it to keep up with people I know and love, it turned into seeing how they looked, the fun they were having, their point of life even though they were younger or the same age as me, how many likes or comments or shares they got on their posts, etc.

So I just quietly stopped relying so heavily on those things. It was tough. It still is tough. Like I said, I do still scroll through Facebook some. And jealousy and envy still come up sometimes. But I can definitely tell a difference from where I was two years ago. Even from a year ago.

Of course, just getting off social media won’t solve envy issues. It takes prayer; it still is taking prayer for me. In fact, praying about it led me to the decision to cut down on the time I spent on social media.

‘Limit your exposure’

After I told all that to my grandmother (I told you it was a long story), she encouraged me in seeking to cut out the envy, and told me she felt that way sometimes. My dad said the same thing. If I had to guess, the three of us aren’t alone with that issue.

Struggling with envy is difficult. Living in envy is even more difficult. If you’re struggling with envy, I encourage you to take a look at how much time you’re spending on social media or thinking about things you’ve seen on social media. And take note of how you feel when you’re on it. If you sense that could be where a lot of your struggles are rooted, take a break. Limit your exposure. Pray about those feelings and ask God for help.

I don’t think social media is bad. It has a great purpose. I still am using it to catch up with what people are doing. But I can’t let it consume my life and emotions. Nobody should.

Hannah Muñoz

Hannah Muñoz is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the digital editor for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Samford University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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