Yesterday I read an article about social media envy, or the phenomenon of Facebook and Instagram causing its users to feel depressed. Apparently, this depression stems from people going onto social networks, looking at photos of their friends being happy, and concluding their own life is massively inferior to everyone else’s.
Instagram is particularly pernicious in this department because people spend a lot of time composing, editing, and applying filters to their images, thus making their lives appear far more beautiful and superior than if they were just dumping the contents of their post-vacation memory card to a Facebook album like most normal people do.
I’ve thought long and hard about this and have developed three sure-fire ways to combat the self-doubt spiral a quick trip to Facebook or skim down your Instagram feed can so easily set off:
1: Streetside reality check
Turn off your computer or phone and step outside. Look at actual people walking by in the street. Note how most of them are overweight and miserable, and also depressed because they are looking at happy people on their phones while they walk.
2: Walmart pick-me-up
If turning off your phone or computer sounds like too much work (or you live in a rural area), go to peopleofwalmart.com. Scroll through the photos, noting all the ways in which you are physically and socially superior to the people you see, until you once again feel your life is worth living.
3: Snark therapy
Copy a Facebook or Instagram photo of one of your happy friends into a Word document. Stare at the photo and remember every unflattering thing you can about that person. Write a bulleted list of all his/her flaws and failures. Repeat until the depression passes and your spirits lift.