While sifting though pictures on Instagram (which I often do), I couldn’t help but feel admiration and sort of envious of what other people have. How do these people have perfect bodies? How do they get to travel often? How do they have so many things — things I couldn’t have? These have become thoughts that I would often think of every time I would open social media platforms. So yesterday, just like any other time and after my numerous observations (haha!), I set my phone aside and went on doing chores and living my own life.
Then that evening, my family talked about the seven deadly sins. I still haven’t memorised these sins, but I still do remember some episodes of the movie SEVEN which was shown last 1995. One of the sins, if you haven’t memorised it, too, is envy. I quickly shifted to a state of panicking a little, as I thought of the those times on Instagram, when I would “envy” other people on social media. Was I “sinning” during all those times? 🙁
But before delving into my feelings and what-not, let’s go back to the definition of envy.
From Merriam Webster, the definition of ENVY is a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.
This morning (since I was really bothered), I was reading articles on the different things associated with envy, jealousy, benchmarking, comparing, the ethics behind these concepts, etc. I wondered if the changes that’s happening with tech, social media platforms, etc. have made us more envious of other people’s things and lives. I wondered if feeling like this was really bad.
After reading a lot of articles I have drawn my own personal conclusions (and please indulge me a bit on this).
Looking through social media and feeling a little bit envious of how other people’s live look can either lead to…
1) encouraging you to be a better version of yourself so therefore this little dose of “envy” becomes a source of inspiration.
2) negative feelings of hatred and resentment which lead you to action like backstabbing, spreading gossip, etc.
3) being apathetic about it — which can either be good or bad. “Let him/her live our own lives. I have to fight my own battles, so kuddos to him / her!” (good) or “I don’t care… (dismissing the fact that you still feel some jealousy and harbor some sort of ill feelings still… which I think is bad if you don’t confront the feeling/s).
So I think that thinking of wanting to be better because this concept is presented by another human being on Instagram or Facebook isn’t bad. If it encourages you to channel your feelings to doing good, to becoming a happier, more productive person, I don’t really think that this makes it a sin.
At the end of the day, if you don’t hurt anyone emotionally or physically, and this statement includes yourself (please don’t torture yourself, too), it’s not something bad.
What do you think about this? What are your thought on envy and jealousy. Do you have tips on how to be less envious of others?