Social media is hard.
I’m not talking about the ever changing algorithms, shadow bans, relevant hashtags etc. (though those things are HARD). I’m talking about the whole comparison thing.
There are a few bloggers I hate follow. That’s what I call it. Hate following. These bloggers make my eyes roll from here all around the world. I look at their pictures and judge them and screenshot pictures and text other people judge-y things about them. A few months ago I admitted something about the #1 girl I hate follow. If she said “Stephanie! I’ll be in Portland! Come be my tour guide for the weekend!” I’d drop everything and go hang out with her.
The driving part of my hate following? Envy. Jealousy. Insecurity. I think this girl isn’t anything special, I think I’m nothing special, and yet somehow she is making money by being not special and I’m stuck staring at an “Add New Post” screen, trying to convince myself that any of my blog ideas are worth typing out.
Her income continues to grow. Her following and influence continues to grow.
and I’m sitting here sipping my iced coffee all alone,
watching judging her Instagram stories and dreaming about one day making a consistent profit it off my blog. Healthy, right?
I made a goal to read a book of the Bible this month and since I have less than a week later, I decided I should do it. Like right now at this moment. Which meant it had to be a quick “easy” read. Easy in that there weren’t a lot of words, not that it was a light beach read. I decided… eh, how about 1 Peter. Just because I’ve read it but I can’t think of anything it says so that means it will be new to me.
This literally jumped out of the pages at me:
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:1)
I stopped to think about it. That envy word. I thought of this blog post. I typed in the title and then felt convicted to not get distracted from finishing the book. Then I got to this part, the words of Psalms repeated in the letter from Peter:
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”
Those two parts weighed so heavy on my heart. As I sat thinking about them, all I could think of was the idea of watering my grass. Not literal, but you know. When I sit and sip my iced coffee, cynicism leaking out of my heart, hate following the landscaping on someone else’s yard, you know what happens to mine? IT. DIES. It gets neglected and ugly and looks even less like what I’m wishing it was.
I was reminded of a Bob Goff quote I saved on my phone a few weeks ago:
The way to battle this really ugly envy I have growing inside of me is to, like Bob Goff says, be captivated with purpose. Or, as one of my favorite musicians, Jonny Lang, sings:
Instead of spending all of my energy hate following other people and then finding my creative energy tank run dry when it’s time for me to pour into my own stuff, I need to just patch the hate follow holes in my heart and my soul. It’s crazy how envy can really be the poison of your soul – it’s hard to be excited about anything you do, because you’re always comparing it or wondering if it’s as good or deciding it’s better and then trying to figure out why it has less appeal than someone else’s.
Y’all it feels so good to get this off of my chest. It’s been like a quiet, secret, invisible poison that’s been stifling my creativity and my joy.
Anyway. Social media is hard because I just see all the things and it makes me feel all the things, and a lot of those things aren’t good. I’m going to scroll less and blog more. Double click less and post pics more. Just work on my own thing without worrying about what other people are doing for awhile.
Have you ever felt this? Help me out with ideas of how you’ve combatted it.