Speaking of Joy: The Happy Thief

Do social media posts ever make you feel envious?

We’ve all seen the pictures of exotic vacations, new homes and supremely talented kids.   My favorites are the luxurious dinner posts I read as I stand at the kitchen sink with my bowl of mac & cheese.

If you’re feeling a bit green as you scroll, well you’re not alone.   A recent study from the University of Missouri took at look at Facebook use and the emotions that it can create.  The findings indicate that social media can indeed make you jealous and even worse, depressed.  

It’s all in how you use it.    

If you’re a stalker, wiping through the feed of friends and comparing their life with your own, then you’re more likely to experience envy and depression.   Researchers refer to this as “surveillance” - tracking your friends like a bloodhound tracks his prey.   You follow them traveling the world, enjoying successful careers and raising photo-shopped kids.

A friend of mine is not a fan of Facebook.  She says it falsely portrays life as we wish rather than as it really is.  She notes you rarely see stories about failure – the losses, the betrayals, the heartaches. 

Linda Sterling Sease, Speaking of Joy

Instead it’s all kittens, soccer and sunsets. 

Theodore Roosevelt was right when he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea.   It’s hard to experience happiness if you think you’re the only one in the world with a mess on your hands.

You see a perfect picture post and you illogically deem there’s a perfect backstory.  That is rarely ever the case.   

No one escapes this life unscathed.  We all have our scrapes, bumps and bruises.

I have to admit that my friend is right about Facebook – it’s not an accurate snapshot of life. 

But I do love all the kittens and since I’m allergic to cats, I must admit that those posts do make me really envious!

Until next week, I hope your life is full of joy and gratitude.  I may have to get a kitten!


Linda Sterling Sease is a professional speaker, career coach & writer on the power of joy to transform companies, homes and communities.  To explore how Linda can work with your organization, call 303-319-5829 or email her at Linda at SterlingSease.com.