Compare & Despair: Some Days, Social Media Sites Make Me Feel Like Crap.

Disclaimers:

I’ve got it pretty good.  Job I love, wonderful family, financial security, etc etc.

I also know that many teachers spend a TON of time teaching digital citizenship to people of all ages, and it’s needed desperately.  But I think we need to talk about the elephant in the room.

Sometimes social media sites make me feel like crap.  And I know I’m not alone.

  1.  This week some of my favorite people were all at a fun conference.  And I was not.  And each post and photo reminded me of that.   So instead of noticing where I was and what I was doing, I was focused on what I was not doing.   That’s not healthy.   And I was actually at a paid gig while I was feeling envy.  It’s irrational.
  2. Loads of people went on fabulous vacations over spring break.  Good for them.  But the selfish part of me (which I admit is growing daily) didn’t feel joy for them.  I felt envy.  And that’s not healthy.  Can I still be a good parent without taking my kids on spring break trips?  Can I?
  3. Look at how people on Pinterest decorate their porches.  Just look

Here’s my porch:

Does this mean I am still a valid human?  I HAVE A PLAIN PORCH! (Thanks for the photobomb, Millie!)

4.    Sometimes I might take a selfie that looks halfway decent.  BUT WAIT!  The internet will bring me back to my   senses:  “THIS CAT TAKES BETTER SELFIES THAN YOU”   Good God, I can’t even take selfies well now.

5.   Saw a photo of two friends on FB yesterday.  One was a woman I’d not talked to in awhile, wondered what she      was up to, so I clicked on her name.   “ADD FRIEND”, it said.   We were apparently no longer FB friends.

Mind you, I had not had a conscious thought about this woman in probably TWO YEARS.  And yet, when I found out that she had un-friended me on FB, it got me worked up.  Not enough to eat an entire cheesecake, BUT STILL.      What had I done?   What was wrong with me?

6.  Does it mean I don’t love my family enough if I don’t go ON AND ON AND ON about any of them on their birthdays or our wedding anniversary?   Does my love not measure up if it’s not posted online?

We need to admit it:  we are all under constant pressure to appear perfect.

I am old.  And sometimes I even feel like I have my act together (except when I try to fold a fitted sheet, but I digress).  How do young people deal with this pressure?

We absolutely cannot teach our students digital citizenship without including the effects of  “compare and despair”.     Our emotional lives – and theirs – depend on it.

Please tell me I am not alone in this occasional anxiety…

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