It’s the holiday season, and everyone is happy, abundant, engaged with family/friends and looking good. Your Facebook News Feed says they are, and you may even be portraying yourself the same way.
Let’s face it – as joyous as the holiday season can be and is for many, this time of year often magnifies the stressors that we face in our everyday lives. Many people are ending a year filled with loss – lost loved ones, lost health, lost jobs/income, lost relationships/marriages. And we all face a variety of other stresses that seem to grow with each passing year. All told, it can sometimes be challenging to fully embrace the wondrous joy of the season.
The human difficulty of finding holiday joy during tough times is as old as the spiritual traditions that we celebrate. But the new twist, something that our ancestors never had to face, is the pervasive connectedness of our society; our ability through Facebook and other social media to take a peak (or a long look) at the detailed lives of friends, family and general acquaintances.
So, we ask ourselves, “How is it that everyone seems to ALWAYS be laughing, smiling, joking, celebrating, connecting with others, relaxing and enjoying life?” At a low point in your life, and even during the best of times, you may compare yourself to others and feel less successful, less beautiful (or handsome), less wealthy, less intelligent, less liked/admired/appreciated – in general, less happy!
The Facebook Cycle of Ego
As we said earlier, it’s the holiday season, and everyone is happy, abundant, engaged with family/friends and looking good. Or are they – REALLY? When you find yourself comparing your life with others and depressed because of your own perceived short-comings, it’s important to remember:
No one – and we mean NO ONE – leads a 100% charmed life. Everyone has their own ups & downs, life challenges, disappointments and insecurities; no one is immune from that. But the private, rocky part of one’s life rarely gets exposed in their Facebook posts.
People tend to share on Facebook those images and narrative that show only their best side, and this is often driven, consciously or unconsciously, by the ego aspect of themselves.
And guess what – many of those with whom you are comparing yourself are doing their own comparing, and finding themselves, by comparison, to feel somehow less than others. This drives their ego to “prove” their happiness (success, beauty, intelligence, abundance, popularity, prettiest home-made Christmas cookies, etc.) by posting the best image of themselves. As you can see, it’s a vicious, no-win cycle!
So, knowing the above to be true, how do you deal with your Facebook unhappiness during the holidays? Here are just a few hints:
Start by recognizing that you are a person of true, unique value, and that the opinions of others just really don’t matter. Do this by adopting a Facebook Well-Being approach of mindfulness (see https://itisme.me/what-to-do/). Get to know your true, inner self, and begin to push your ego-self far to the background.
Recognize ego in others when you see it, and remind yourself that a Facebook profile is not the full representation of a person’s life; they too have their own life challenges.
Draw your Facebook attention to people, groups, news posts and memes that are positive, uplifting, entertaining and unifying. Recognize that there is a lot of good on Facebook being posted with simply love and joy.
Move yourself to a state of pure gratitude for all of the wonders that surround your life. Everyone has a multitude of things to be thankful for, and they may be as simple as a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day, the beauty of a full moon against new-fallen snow, or seeing the look of wonderment in a child seeing Christmas lights for the first time.
Seek help in discovering the joy of Facebook – both during the holidays, and any time of the year that you feel challenged. If you feel that you are clinically depressed, enlist the help of a licensed therapist. If you feel that you are otherwise healthy, but are tired of the negative state of mind that Facebook brings to you, we at itisme.me can help. Contact us at https://itisme.me/get-help/.
If you find nothing but joy on Facebook, this blog may not apply to you. If you have searched deep within, and confirmed that all of your Facebook posting is driven from pure love, joy and sense of unity with your connections, move past this blog and continue on your journey. But if you find yourself unhappy reading your Facebook News Feed, or if in your deepest reflections you realize that you created a post driven by an ego need to “impress”, we hope this blog has provided a new insight for you.
For those who celebrate Christmas, we are only three weeks away. We will post another holiday-themed Facebook Well-Being post in a week, as we draw closer yet to that day of celebration.
Embrace the REAL you! itisme.me