Vacation Envy on Social Media – It’s a ‘Thing’ and I Get It [OPINION]
I thought it was just something that I felt, but last week, I realized that a LOT of people feel it.
I had been stashing away money in an envelope since last August to take this trip. Last week, my sister and I went hiking in Banff, Alberta, Canada. I've found that hiking helps me center myself, and it's very therapeutic. We went for four days last week, and I was so excited to show people how BEAUTIFUL this place is on social media.
One of the interesting parts of having a Facebook PAGE, in addition to a regular profile, is that you can get all kinds of statistics on what people like to see, and what they don't like to see.
And lemme tell ya - a lot of people do NOT like to see vacation photos. Doesn't matter who you are or where you're going, people don't like it.
As I posted pictures of my trip, I watched as the "likes" on our page ticked down, one by one.
*A little inside baseball: we gain one or two likes every day. Over the course of 3 days, we lost 16.*
When I got home, I checked the messages on our page, and sure enough, this one popped up:
Of course, this particular message is a little bit far-fetched, but it confirmed my suspicions: people were having Facebook vacation envy.
I've felt this before. I've unfollowed people because of it. I get it.
And it's not just vacation - it can be anything. Social media envy can make you miserable. People have written about it:
*The last article is ironic for me in particular, because it's written by financial guru Dave Ramsey - I actually used his "envelope system" to save for this trip Banff*
It's easy to post pictures while you're on vacation and not care what people think, because you're relaxing and having the time of your life. It's also easy to hate on people who are relaxing and having the time of their lives while YOU are back home, grinding away at your job and the day-to-day responsibilities.
Needless to say, I get it. I've been on the other side, more often than not: dealing with work, parenting, adulting and other stressors...and then I see my friends on Facebook, Instagram, etc. on a beach with fruity drinks in their hands, bragging about how relaxed they are.
The only difference is, you can't see when somebody unfollows you. If you have a Facebook PAGE, you can see the reactions in real time. And sometimes, it sucks.
Facebook vacation envy, or ANY social media envy, can be frustrating. Because it really does feel silly and unimportant. But, it's a natural feeling to have. I've felt it, and I've been on the receiving end, too.
Maybe, if you're feeling Facebook vacation envy, you could benefit from...a vacation? A staycation? Even just a couple of days off? Take it. Don't feel guilty about it. Save for it. And don't worry about what people think of your vacation. It's your experience, not theirs.