Your friend posted photos of his brand-new car. A high school buddy landed his dream job. Another one celebrated her company’s first anniversary. Hooray!
Ah, she finally got married to a wealthy man. A street vendor was so lucky a rich family helped her. Your former officemate is now earning a lot through a get-rich-quick scheme discovered by so-called Internet marketing gurus. And they’re not scams?
They’re eating at the best restaurant in town. Having fun on a white sand beach. Using the coolest technology. Living the dream life you wanted for yourself and your family.
All these things imprint directly into our minds. Then we try to live up to that standard.
Everybody then wants to own a new car and a house and the newest smartphone. Or start a business and have financial freedom and travel around the world and take a lot of photos.
Every woman wants to have that skinny body and become a fitness icon. Or dress in that trendy outfit and become a fashion model in their own way.
That’s fine. But it creates a delusion. It tricks the mind that we can’t be happy without those shiny objects. That we’ll never be successful if we don’t achieve financial freedom or greatness or fame.
All these images distort the true meaning of life. And it’s one of the reasons we’re discontent despite all the things we have.
The result? Stress. Peer pressure. Envy. Unhappiness.
Let’s talk about happiness.
If our happiness depends on some external factors such as getting more likes on Facebook, then we’re chasing the wrong thing. Real happiness starts within.
I’m happy to write this blog post. I may be happier if many people can read this. But I’m already happy during the writing process. My happiness starts within (though at times writing gets hard, I do a lot of thinking).
Sure, it would be great if my work gets shared and impact a lot of people. My happiness doubles up. Then again, I am happy right now. And that’s all that matters. What else can I ask for?
One of today’s great thinkers Zat Rana puts it this way,
“Happiness isn’t about a state of constant elation. It’s about being content.”
Should we stop using Facebook?
I don’t know. I’ve been minimizing Facebook for quite some time (thanks to Cold Turkey). I can’t however, quit as I use it to connect with relatives, friends, and like-minded individuals. Maybe someday I will. But that’s it. That’s the purpose — to connect with loved ones and like-minded individuals (or sometimes share my creative works and gather relevant information).
I don’t use a smartphone which helps me a lot in staying away from social media. Installing News Feed Eradicator for Facebook on my browser has helped as well. This app blocks Facebook news feed, replacing them with lovely quotes. I love it.
There’s one guy you may want to check regarding this issue: Cal Newport on Quitting Social Media
Maybe you can quit. Or maybe you can minimize and only use Facebook with purpose. Less Facebook time — or no Facebook at all — means more time for the things that matter.