Joy Thief

Browsing on FB the other day and I came across this post made by Glennon/Momastery. (Glennon has an amazing story and a wonderful blog that you should check out. )
“During my internet fast, I learned that Facebook makes me feel bad. I wish I were cooler so it wouldn’t effect me, but it does. I once saw an Olympic swimmer interviewed after winning a race and she said “I swim best when I mentally stay in my own lane.” Me too. Facebook just takes me right out of my own lane- every single time. No matter how satisfied I am with my life, career, family, social life, etc etc – as soon as I log on to Facebook and peek into others’ lives, I immediately feel that unease caused by comparison. I start to doubt myself. I just feel a little kernel of doubt settle into my gut and it feels really bad. Comparison is the thief of joy, and Facebook is a breeding ground for comparison, don’t you think? I called my Sister the other day and said, “I’m going to quit Facebook. I don’t use it right. Whether I want to or not, I just end up comparing myself to everyone else.” And Sister said, “Actually, you’re using it for the exact thing it was designed for. Remember- some college guys made it to compare women to each other.” And I thought- AH. Right. Huh. The origin of Facebook is really annoying and offensive, actually, when you think about it. And even more annoying is that we often still use it for what it was originally intended:Comparison. I think our only hope for joy is gratitude and comparison shoves us out of gratitude swiftly and dependably. Does anyone else ever feel this way? If not, never mind, me neither. I’m totally cool over here.”
When I read this I thought… oh my goodness ME TOO! Why do I let myself get caught up in that? Why do I compare my life to others anyway? Why do I find myself comparing… my house, car, kids, vacations, success, etc with others? Because like she said in her post, when I start to compare I immediately begin to doubt my own happiness. I rethink how satisfied I am with my life. All the comparing steals my joy!
At first I was going to just shutdown my Facebook page but that’s not the answer. I know that Facebook is how many of my friends and family are able to keep up with our boys and truly enjoy seeing their pictures. I need to learn how to be content. I need to learn not to compare my life with others. So I’ve decided to make a change. I’ve decided #1 limit how much time I spend on Facebook. And #2 when I am on Facebook I am going say to myself before I get on that I am merely here to browse and not to compare and not cause disruption in my life.
My life is not perfect at all and I don’t pretend that it is. I never want to come across that way to others. But I want to keep the joy that I do have. I want to be thankful for what I have. I have a beautiful wife and 2 amazing boys. I have a roof over my head. I have a job that I love. I have wonderful friends near and far. I have a supportive family. I have so many things to be thankful for that I will not allow anything to steal my joy anymore.

3 thoughts on “Joy Thief

  1. I think what helps me not feel that way about FB is that I never assume I’m getting the whole story about anyone. The people posting happy-looking pictures and cute stories about their kids could be carrying some secret sorrow. It’s not that I hope they do, it’s just that I don’t assume anyone is necessarily better off than I am. Unless they’re at the beach…

    p.s. I have a Noah, too, but mine is 12 years old.

  2. This is exactly the reason my ‘friends’ list shrinks a little everyday. I assume everyone has the same day to day struggles as parents, spouses, employees, etc… But the ones that post things that make me question myself or just make me feel ba, I delete. Even family, especially family, lol…

    • I started hiding people from my timeline so that I don’t see them if they are the ones that make me feel bad. That’s a lot like deleting them. : )

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