While chatting with a fellow journalist the other day, we expressed the same sentiment about social media. Although it’s great for keeping in touch with friends (which is how we’ve stayed connected since first meeting at college years ago), Facebook, Instagram and the likes can be a breeding ground for resentment.
I first wrote about “Facebook Envy” for the now defunct millennial website Life2PointOh.com a few years ago and, I’m ashamed to admit, many of my feelings have not changed. While I may appear to live a charmed life on the outside (dream job, dream guy, cute clothes), I still have insecurities and doubts on the inside (oh, Quarter-Life Crisis, will you EVER go away?).
Another journalist friend of mine once posted: “Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes struggle to everyone else’s highlight reel.” And she has a point. Most people only post the GOOD stuff on social media: the engagement, the promotion, the cute little baby bump, the fancy home, etc.
What you don’t see, and what many people aren’t apt to openly discuss, is what it took to get there…a long-distance relationship perhaps, or pulling all-nighters at the office (I have TWO industry friends who’ve watched the sun set and rise from their cubicles), costly fertility treatments, scraping every penny and dime for a down payment. The point is: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…despite what statuses, selfies and hashtags may have you think.
When people asked me why I left my full-time journalism job…a position that often looked glamorous from the outside, full of selfies with celebrities who stopped by the office…I replied, quite honestly, I was burnt out.
I distinctly remembered one Saturday night I was dolled up getting ready to go out for Date Night and instead I was typing away on my laptop because there was breaking news. #JournalistProblems
That’s not meant to be a “woe is me,” but more of a “maybe if we were all just a bit more honest about the process, it would change people’s perception.” It’s not always glitz and glam. With that idea in mind, I’m making an effort to be more transparent in my writing and in real life with people who ask me about my journey, especially women.
No, being successful is not easy. Yes, it takes a lot of hard work. And yes, there will be moments when you wonder, what in the world am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing? More importantly, what do I actually to do?
No one has all the answers and, despite what social media will have you believe, no one has it all figured out. And anyone who says she does is, quite frankly, a liar.
So instead of lamenting, “I want that, why not me?” when your frenemy humble brags about her new Birkin bag, let’s adopt a new mantra: “good for you and I’m good, too.” Doesn’t that just sound and feel so much better?