Your blog makes me hate myself: I’ve got social media envy

Some days I’ll spend hours online browsing around my friend’s blogs. I use to mostly browse the blogs of people I know, and read their posts about their growing families, their vacations, their love for being at home with their kids, their excitement over their new homes.

At first my eyes would be wide and oogly. I enjoyed reading about the lives of first time moms, the joys of being a mother and I’d sigh staring at the adorable family portraits page after page. By the end of my browsing my eyes were full of tears and my onlooking husband would be asking what in the world I had seen online that could be that devastating. I’d be practically depressed the rest of the day, sobbing through my jealousy, all the while being even more angry with myself for being so upset when I’m so blessed.

My husband noticed a pattern. Whenever I’d read my friend’s blogs I’d find a reason to be in a crappy mood the rest of the day. Diagnosis: Social media envy.
He told me to stop. Either stop being envious or stop reading the things that would conjure up those feelings.
I know it wasn’t my friends’ fault. It was my stupid fault for CHOOSING to be jealous. But I can’t help but wonder if the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is stronger these days since people’s lives are so readily accessible. Back in the day you only heard about things to be jealous of when you talked to the person themselves, or heard it through gossip… Which then you can only half believe. Nowadays you can hear everyone’s good news and braggings through Facebook updates, blog postings, Myspace emails (do people still use that?) PLUS everyday chit chat.
As my blog became my escape from life and my personal online column I’d pour my heart into, I searched out to find others who shared the same hobby. As I discovered other blogs I developed Blog Envy. I’d get envious of people having more subscribers. Envious of people who have more hits than me, who have more comments, cool companies sponsoring giveaways, more visibility. Hearing that Dooce makes $40K a month from her blog made me a little jealous.
But as time has gone on I’ve learned how to control my emotions better but every now and then I still find a way to compare myself. Whether it be a job promotion I read about on Facebook that I wish I had or financial support from relatives, sometimes the sting of jealousy seeps through for a few moments, but they usually don’t linger.
I’m not sure how but somehow, somewhere I began to really just let it go, appreciate my blessings and be happy for my friend’s happiness. Besides, we don’t always know what’s going on behind the scenes.
I don’t have a big house. We’re not a single income family (yet), I have to work, one of our cars has over 160K miles and no AC, our parents can’t afford to give us handouts, and after 5 years of marriage we aren’t as far along as some of our friends who have been married half the time.
BUT… I have a cute, well behaved dog, a husband who contributes domestically in ways I never could, faith in God, and more blessings than I can count. I know I’ve been put here and now and given my circumstances for a reason and I know I’m in no position to complain at all. It’s easy to compare myself to people who have more than I but I know that we are TRULY blessed and I have no room to be upset.
Your blog may have made me jealous at some point, but I’m over my immaturity now, I’m happy for you, and I’m grateful for my challenges as well as my blessings. I’m way too blessed to be stressed, and when it comes down to it, the greatest wealth in my life is my family and our faith, and nothing can take that away.
Have you every been bitten by the blog envy bug?

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  1. I’m with ya. Blogging was a huge popularity contest at first for me…kinda like homecoming or senior prom, but I do it for me, there are no rules, and I follow who I want when I want. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh yeah! wa to be honest! I get annoyed when people seem to flaunt a lovely life on their blog. There is one in particular that REALLY bugs me about it.

    But I keep reading it.

    And keep getting annoyed.

    I think I might need to de-follow just until I can do a better job at ignoring the too good to be true and just reading for what it is.

    Yeah, I get jealous about followers, too. But I don’t want to do giveaways just to get readers or whatever.

  3. Yes I think I was super envious in the beginning I didn’t understand how bloggers did itI wanted a blog too! S soon got over it and became a fan looked at it for what it is and now im happy blogging myself πŸ™‚

  4. I think it’s easy to get blog envy, because a lot of people only blog about the good, or make life look better than it is. That’s one of the things about a blog – you can choose what to share, and how much of it, so your life might look much different to a reader than it does even to you.

    One of the things I like about your blog and your tweets is that you seem “real”. You’ve asked questions and talked about fears and doubts and things where you wondered if you were making the right decision. Since I’ve spent a lot of my pregnancy doing the same thing, mostly privately, I can relate to that a lot better than some of the people who seem to have it all figured out and come across as having perfect lives and confidence in all their choices.

    Also, if it helps, my life is less than perfect, but I don’t give a lot of insight into that on my blog [also one reason I don’t do a lot of pics – most of the ones I see are nice homes with nicer furniture & clothes – mine needs decluttering, new carpet, and more furniture that didn’t come from yard sales or thrift stores] . We live in a 16 year old doublewide, are only single-income cause I lost my full-time job & I’m not making enough in real estate to break even right now [DH makes $13 an hour; I made about $10k/year more than him when I worked], my hubby drives a gas-guzzler with 350+ miles and no ac [’83 Dodge Ramcharger], and we both come from “poor” families who can’t really help us out. That said, we’ve got it good in a lot of ways – we do own our own home, are able to budget and live on what he makes, are used to depending on eachother, and have a lot of love to make up for some of the material things we lack.

  5. ugh! who hasn’t?? Working at a boring desk job all day I have little else to do to kill time than read blogs – I can’t wait until I am at a quicker paced job and don’t have to worry about what others are doing anymore. The thing that bugs me the most is the people who are SO not real and act like their life is perfect (not those that are just positive – but those that really want everyone to think their life is perfect and that they are the best at EVERYTHING.) It’s just plain obnoxious.

  6. Ah I know what you mean! For me it is not so much the blogs I read, it is stuff people post on facebook. I try hard not to be jealous, and I am doing a lot better than I used to, but sometimes I still get bit by the jealousy bug! Anyways you are not alone! Glad you are feeling blessed now!

  7. Totally! I wish there was a way I could get paid to blog like that Dooce person! That’s insane! But I know that it’s really rare that people bring in real income from blogging, so I just let it go.

    BTW, I read your first sentence of your second to last paragraph as “I have a cute well behaved husband” lol! I’m sick, so I think cold meds have made me a little loopy πŸ™‚

  8. It’s so true – we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. Everyone has their burdens to bear. And most of the time, we don’t talk about those burdens on our blogs. So life ends up looking perfect. But of course that’s not the truth!

  9. Yes, I have had it and had to let it go. Where it gets frustrating are when people try so darn hard to get their blog noticed. I had someone say to me, “I”m following you, would you consider following me?” I did….until she bragged and boasted about all of her followers. I stopped following! I want to enjoy a blog for what the author writes, not because you need me to be a “number”.

  10. had blog envy at first but now like others have realized its not important. I like writing and blogging and i will continue to do that. Whoever wants to read and comment is more than welcome to. I am happy with my life thank you very much.

  11. I love your blog and I said it before, I think you don’t have to envy anybody’s blog. You have more subscribers than most of us bloggers. You are blessed and you should enjoy each achievement you’d achieved so far. God bless you always.

  12. I’ve never gotten envy about what people write in their blogs. I’ve always just assumed that most focus on the positive more interestingly good things because no one wants to really listen to the rants of someone who is negative, down in the dumps, or always lamenting over things they don’t have.

    But, the other kind of blog envy, the success blog envy I have felt. Always wondering why this person gets sponsored or featured or hired and why I never get anything ever. I feel that way less now (not b/c I’m getting picked more, just b/c I’m sorta over it), but it’s still hard sometimes. B/c blogging with women is just like everything else with women and sadly there is a lot of drama and gossip and side picking and competition and bullcrap. But one good thing about not being in the “in” crowd of bloggers is that no one ever picks on me. Not sure if it’s b/c they don’t think I’m important enough to waste enrgy on or if it’s b/c they don’t even know I exist. Either way I live a fairly simple, largely happy blogging life.

    And, even though you are a blogger to be looked up to, I would agree with everyone else here that you are genuine, and interesting, and pleasant. Plus your hubby is a cutie, your doogie is a cutie, and I’m sure baby-to-be will be one too. Focus on that and everything else is really just secondary.

  13. Oh hunny, I know how you feel. I’ve had blog envy before. The best way I coped with it was to just let it go and realize that everyone is given a path in life and your path is different and may progress slower than others because you may have a different lesson to learn along the way.

    Your blog is super cute and sweet and I’d say its very successful. I actually look forward to clicking on it every day.

    Chin up hun. It’ll all work out. You have faith and God on your side so you can’t go wrong with that. πŸ™‚

  14. LOL! Bless your heart. I don’t think I’ve ever had blog-envy. I’m more of a pathetic stalker. I look at great blogs and admire them, but I know I’ll never even come close, so I don’t even think about why I don’t have the hits. It’s easy! I’m just not that awesome! Seriously, I think you’ve got a great blog here. Don’t drive yourself nuts worrying about what other bloggers do!

    If I did have blog-envy, though, you’d be one of them. You’re always interesting, always have a ton of comments, and you’re a hawt mama. I can only genuflect in your general direction. πŸ™‚

  15. Thank you so much for writing about that…i feel the same way all the time! it is hard to let it go but it makes it easier to know that i am not the only one and to just be happy with what i have..otherwise i never enjoy blogging b/c i turn it into a competition.

  16. I know how u feel…
    My friend is pregnant.. her and her husband have amazing jobs and can live on one income and they just bought an amazing 5bedroom house… perfect life…
    Yet she still gets down on most days and don’t like her life… and I’m like… wow.. I wish I had half of yours.

    The point is everyone always doubt and sometimes want what they do not have. Single girls want to be married, while married girls sometimes at times envy their single friends.

    Stay bless and positive. Life is beautiful.

  17. Jennifer, I can’t believe how much we’re alike. It’s as though you’re writing MY feelings, lol. Seriously, I went through this too when I first started up, 3 months ago. I didn’t realize there was such a huge world of bloggers out there. I thought I had such a great idea, then soon realized, that thousands of other mom’s were already doing exactly what I had only just begun. I felt very discouraged, and almost wanted to give up the whole idea all together. You were actually one that I was MOST jealous of, did you know that? I thought, wow, she’s a writer, and I’m NOT at all a writer. So, anyway, I eventually got over it, and realized that we ALL have something different to offer. Each one of us is different and see things a little different. So, I began to enjoy reading other blogs, rather than compare. I’m learning a lot from my fellow mommy bloggers. And I really enjoy reading your blog πŸ™‚

  18. I would be lying if I said I never felt this way. I feel it all the time but just have to remind myself that we are all different and have great things to bring to the blog world.
    Oh, and I kind of am wondering how one makes that much money from their blog. I think it would be great to make a couple of extra $$$ but have no idea how to. Do you think you can post something on this? If you want to.

    One more thing, I read a post from a blog I read that really helped me with this same problem:

    I’m telling you, you will love it!

  19. Oh YES..I have had blog envy! I think it’s because we all want to be likeable don’t we? I know I at least want people to think I’m somewhat funny and whitty lol.
    What you said though is totally true…we may think someone “has it all” on the surface but we may never know what trials they are privately facing. I’m grateful for my faith too (same faith as yours btw). I have learned so much about myself and what to be grateful for by having the gospel in my life!

  20. Not too much. I’m a blogging prude but keep it that way. I didn’t even know people made money off blogging! Took off the followers button, made my blog private and I pretty much keep it to the frosting on the cake because there are some people who read my blog that I cannot reveal all my totally honest feelings with so I’ve made it more of a ‘scrapbook’ thing than a journal. I’m getting braver about “journaling” through my blog. Wish I was as brave as you.

  21. I don’t get blog envy but I’m not crazy about facebook. The funny thing is, with fb, what annoys me is somewhat the opposite of what gets you. I hate all the complaining I see. I sometimes get angry because my friends seem to think they are entitled to complain but I feel like I’m not!! Isn’t that funny!!
    Have a great day!
    Congratulations on your wonderful new addition!!
    I am so happy for you and your husband!!

  22. Does it count that I’m envious of you for having 33 comments and my last post only got 2? Or that you have all these cute buttons and sponsors? And let’s not even talk about this whole dang template with the pregnant woman at the top!

    Yeah…I have blog envy. *sad face*

  23. I’m guilty of it too and I totally agree with

    “stop reading the things that would conjure up those feelings.”

    I stay far away from anything that will strike up those bad emotions.

    You are doing damn good. I looked at the end of your baby bucket list and felt so behind in life.

    I’m going to use myself for example, so what if I gave away a computer or crib on my blog, I’m without health insurance and I don’t own my home. I can go on and on about what you have accomplished that I have not. But instead of complaining, I’m going to strive to do better.

    You are right. The grass seems greener on the other side, but you don’t know what’s going on beyond what the blogger reveals. Just sayin’ :).

  24. I feel the same way. Some days I can get over it and some days I can’t. It’s just like everyday life but online. But I can’t stop reading. Yes, I envy the peeps that have the BIG nice houses decorated like I LOVE. And those mommies stay home. They make good money from their blog. Well, I’m envious. We had to give up our home, I had to go back to work and I’ve been blogging for about 6months and have not seen one single penny. I too should stop being envious and accept that I too am blessed to have a roof over my head. Coupon clipped combined with sales groceries in my frig and pantry and HEALTHY kids. We may not have money but we love each other! Thank you for this great post. We all need to stop wanting what sometimes we can’t always have πŸ™‚ Congrats!

  25. Dudette! Do you know how many times I have started following someone and have been their 3rd or 13th follower only to check back a week later and realize they now have 152 followers!? But I’m sooo over Follower shock and blog envy because you gotta keep it centered. Some women don’t have as much on their plate as bloggers with families and homes to care for, so I just leave a comment, fix a meal, clean a dish, wash a load, and move on with my day. Keep it simple folks, cause who cares in the end? Not Blogger or WordPress that’s for sure. It’s the people we choose to care for that really matter. Off to pick up the kiddo from school now. Ta ta!

    My best, Lynn

  26. 40K a month just from Blogging!??!!!!! Oh my goodness I am in the wrong career field LOL!

    I can totally relate to everything you have said. Sometimes I still get bit in the butt from the Envy bug but it subsides and I realize just how blessed I actually am.

    40K a month though… Man…. I am GREEN WITH ENVY! lol

  27. Oh yeah. I used to have major issues with that. I get a whopping 35 views a day and I have a total of 10 followers. I used to get very depressed about the fact that I only had 3 comments on my blog posts. But I just recently got over it. I enjoy blogging and documenting my sons life. So I just let it all go. I have other things to be stressed about.

    But now I am getting VERY green over making 40K from blogging. Heck, I would be happy if I made a dime, but 40K?!?! My dear gosh. Where have I gone wrong?!?! Haha πŸ™‚

  28. Stopping in from SITS!!

    OMG you have like a millions followers!! Your so funny! Your right…you dont know whats going on behind the scenes. Theres this one blog, where this lady acts like life is perfect, like her husband is the apple of her eye, her children are perfect, she is the perfect cook and I know that it is NOTHING like that!

    For some blogging is what it is, theraputic, a way to meet people, keep busy, but for some it may be a way to make their life the way they wish!

    Glad you’ve figured out how to get past that!

  29. Oh, of course! Some days it’s a want of popularity. I wish I could make my blog popular and profitable and… well, you know the drill. Some days I read about the happy families and I’m super, SUPER jealous because we still have so many hurdles left to jump before we get to do the same. But, like you said, eventually you just have to make yourself take a breath and look at how many GOOD things there are in your life. And even with some bumps and bruises, I’m a lucky lady!

  30. This sure reminds me of a post that I made a couple days ago. Enby is definitely a problem for me. You know I would read peoples blog and feel like I was the only mom that got tired or angry of her child. I felt like I was the only mother not accomplishing 50 different crafts in one day while having perfect children. Lately I have had to remind myself….no one has perfect kids and I am just brave enough to talk about the bad days. So, with that said I must tell you your blog is fantastic!! I have blog envy from your blog all the time. YOu have so much to say and people want to read it. I have had blog envy many a time from your blog! So, keep on keepin on! You are GREAT!! πŸ™‚

  31. Hi. I’m new here, stopping by from SITS. And I completely understand where you are coming from. I’ve only been blogging for a few months now, and still I’m not seeing the reaction from comments or subscribers I would like. I’m envious of other blogs out there making a couple $100 a month in just sponsors and being able to do so many arts, interior decorating, and crafts. But I keep telling myself I’m blogging for me and to be able to document all of my memories. So thank you for writing this post, now I know I’m not the only one out there. Take care.


  32. Hi Jen, you do such a great job that I sometimes wish I was as creative as you! This post was timely because I was just feeling that way after reading your final post for the year only to land on this one…thank YOU SO MUCH! I am happy for you and thankful to God for you and family. All the best in 2012!!!

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