Take a social media break! Unsurprisingly, social media use is linked to worse mental health outcomes, like depression, anxiety, loneliness, and envy. Social media is a highlight reel and it doesn’t reflect real life. Not to mention, studies have shown that the people with the most curated, brag-worthy social media profiles tend to be among the least happy. They’re often overcompensating.
A handful of years ago, a friend I’ve known since middle school got divorced. Her now-ex husband is a handsome, Ivy League educated, high earning hedge fund guy. She started sending me emails detailing how miserable their marriage was one month in, but her social media was a collage of them moving abroad together, going on fancy vacations together, and generally being hot and wealthy together. I was one of the few who got regular glimpses of the profound unhappiness of that marriage; everyone else got the social media highlight reel and they were surprised when the “perfect” couple split. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors. I could rattle off a handful of similar stories of times I’ve known when social media and reality were not aligned. Hell, when I look back on my own social media use, it has always been heaviest when I’ve felt lonely.
At a bare minimum, you can mute her so that she’s not showing up on your feed. I left Facebook a couple years ago because I was so annoyed every time I logged in — the political posts, the sharenting, the over-the-top captions on anniversary posts… bleh to all of it! — and I don’t miss it at all. I’m still on IG and TikTok because I don’t find those platforms as problematic and they don’t impact my mood. I have time limit settings on those apps so that I don’t get caught up. I’m also good at taking breaks when I need it.
Once you’ve gotten your social media habits under control, maybe you can take a moment to set some goals for yourself. Take a look at the things you feel envious. Then look at your own life and where you can build in those areas. Like if you find yourself thinking this woman has a superior friend group, maybe that’s your sign that you need to be more intentional when it comes to spending times with your friends or your cue to put yourself in a position to meet new people (e.g., join a book club). I’m jealous of people who are creative (though this isn’t a problematic kind of jealousy), so I recently started taking ceramics classes. Energy grows where energy goes, so turn your energy inward.