There is a tendency amongst us humans to compare; ourselves to others or others to others. It seems that even with the most confident person in the world, there is a tendency to compare our appearances, our intellect, our economic status, our talents, our success, etc, etc. It is easy to do, and I believe it stems from a dissatisfaction in our own lives. Far too often, we are like Peter asking Jesus about our brothers/sisters and what their lot is in life when we forget what Jesus has said for us to do. In the case of Peter, he had just been told by Jesus to feed His lambs, tend His sheep. That was what he was supposed to be preoccupied with. And then, Peter turns his head to the side and asks, “What about John?”
I do that. I have done that. I probably am still doing that. I think I am not incorrect to say we all do that, at some point or other in our lives. If anyone has ever had a sibling, the chances of them having done that are probably 100%.
Why are we so nosey and discontented with what is before us that we need to look over to the left and right to see what is happening over there? Social media and the need for people to constantly inform the world about what they are doing, eating, etc has elevated this looking to the right and left to a whole new level. Whether we want to know or not, we are bombarded by what our neighbours are doing. And because it is in plain view, we get drawn in and become part of it..by choice. As much as social media is perpetuating this comparing of ourselves to others and others to others, it is not where our insecurities or dissatisfactions originated from. We really do not need to check our social media accounts constantly do we? But we do. We want to see how many people commented on our posts/ tweets/etc. We want to see how popular we are based on how many likes we receive or how many people befriend or follow us. It makes us feel good that people respond positively and we get upset when people respond in a negative way. Where once nobody knew about us or what we do or any inkling that we exist, the web changed all that. We can be popular through social media.
However, it goes farther than that. We then start to read what others are doing and it bothers us. Depending on which stage of life we are at, we get upset because all of a sudden, our friends of the same age are having babies, or getting married, or getting awesome jobs, boyfriends/girlfriends, or their children are much more well behaved, their spouses write poetry on their walls in dedication to them….etc. We want the same things and it becomes bothersome that this is constantly in our faces when we cannot have them yet. The problem is that we do not seem to know that there is an “off” switch.
We do not have to read the feed that comes through. We do not have to spend hours checking up on everyone’s lives. We do not have to be bothered by others’ opinions and lives. If we will just live our own and do what Jesus told us to do. But, we are nosey and we want to know. We want to see if people will agree with us, how much they care about us by what they say to us through their comments, or if they even care enough to comment. We want to see what their lives are like and how they live. Sometimes, we judge them through what they post, sometimes, we judge them for what they do not post. It would be extreme to say chuck it all. In this day and age, it is not easy to do. However, I think, and this is my opinion, that we should think about why we are such voyeurs. Why do we need to know what the latest reality TV show is revealing? Why do we need to know about other people’s lives? Yes, it is out there for all to see, but we do not have to see it. How is it affecting us when we choose to partake as a voyeur in someone else’s life?
I have some blogs I read. These bloggers have lives I admire which are vastly different from mine. At times, I find myself thinking, “Oh, man, why can’t my life be like that with all those beautiful pictures?” forgetting that they only post what they want others to read about and see. Then, I have to remind myself to be grateful for my life and the blessings therein and just point my nose back in the direction of forward onto Jesus and stop asking Him about my brother/sister over there. I have to remind myself that He has called my husband and I to do different things and to live a different life and we need to just busy ourselves with that.
“The grass is not greener on the other side. I just need to stay on my side to water and fertilize it.”~ adelineohvelarde