— The internet has been the facilitator of a lot of good things; it allows us to comparison shop without putting on pants, lets people check the weather report without having to watch the rest of the news and it’s made keeping in touch with friends and family a breeze; cruising through Facebook seeing pictures of your friend from high school’s new baby, a twitter feed full of self-promoting tweets about your neighbor’s new online start-up, a status update from your nephew that talks about meeting Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. Reading all of these updates from the exciting lives of your friends and family while you sit at home, it can at times feel like everyone is living the dream but you.
With unlimited free time and financial resources, everyone would no doubt accomplish everything they wanted in life. While some of us have unlimited free time (unemployed) and others spend all their waking hours making money (overworked) few of us have reached the golden free time to disposable income ratio, so we are forced to compromise. We put off our passions to provide for ourselves and our families.
When you’re working toward a goal, whether it’s getting out of debt or getting a new pair of shoes, it never feels like you’re moving fast enough and at times can feel like you’re not moving at all. When you talk to your friends and browse your Facebook feed to see what ‘the rest of the world’ is up to, you are greeted with a flurry of smiles, candid pictures where everyone’s clearly having a good time, an invite to a barbecue that happened two weeks ago. Meanwhile, here you are taking time you should be using to sleep or shower to surf Facebook.
It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to our peers. Some of us do it directly in an “If Jerry has a boat, I need a boat” way, others use friends as benchmarks of maturity; feeling left behind because they aren‘t as far along in building a family and ‘settling down’. Don’t worry, everyone does it, and it only means your friends are good at Facebook.
Everyone wants you to see their Friday night, when they’re dressed to the nines, their hair is perfect and they’re on their way to an exciting place. Nobody posts pictures of themselves brushing their teeth while wearing the clothes they slept in, or looking at their alarm clock with an expression on their face that is a combination of pained and confused. Very few people present their Monday morning selves. You on the other hand are forced to see yourself not only Monday, but the Sunday before when you got caught up in a marathon of ‘The Mentalist’ and didn’t get off the couch, or the Tuesday when you spent the morning and night driving your kids around with work in the middle and you ended up only eating a candy bar all day. If you take all of those things into account it’s easy to assume that at the best your friends have at least as much stuff to do during the day as you, after all, everyone needs groceries.
If you’re ever really feeling down, remember that Justin Bieber has sold 3.2 million albums, got to be in the ring with Floyd Mayweather during a post win celebration, and though he just turned eighteen he’s been hanging out with R & B sensation Usher since before he had his learner’s permit. At this point, you’re so far behind, you might as well just do your own thing.