I'm Jealous Of My Friends

photo c/o lauren werkheiser photography 

Internet Jealousy... I hate to admit it, but this is something I struggle with. Even with my close friends. I can't help but compare and watch as other people's numbers steadily rapidly climb and mine seem to fall behind, even decreasing in number. People whom I helped get to where they are today. I try so hard, I work so hard; why is it that my hard work is not "rewarded"? Am I not pretty enough? Not thin enough? Not stylish enough? Not talented enough? Not funny, witty, well-spoken, cool enough? Am I not enough...?

These are the questions I sadly find myself asking, and for what? They do not benefit me in any way. In fact, they are detrimental to my health; not just mentally, but social, spiritually, and yes, even physically. These degrading and self-depreciating questions affect me- body, mind, and soul.

I know I am not alone here... I feel I can safely say that everyone who will read this has experienced it. (unless this is your first time ever using the internet. In that case, I'm flattered you came here. Now leave the internet forever, while you still can!) Online jealousy is a cruel joke. We as bloggers are here to share our lives, but when someone else's is fancier, bigger, better, prettier, and more popular than ours we can feel worthless.

I know I know, the blogging world is/ should be about building each other up, a community filled with others whose interests are just like yours. I fully support and believe that. I have made some of my very best friends through blogging... But there is a flip side that is not so pretty or perfect, and it's a hard one to fight against.

The truth is... That none of it really matters. (I mean yes, a lot of bloggers, including myself, do count it as a career. We depend on it for income. So in that sense it matters a great deal, especially for those who depend on it to support their families.) But this game, the comparison, the numbers... They do not matter. As long as what you are creating makes you happy and you are supporting others, then do your best to ignore the rest. Create your art and leave the rest alone. Numbers mean something to sponsors. They mean something to those who are too petty to understand what's really important (apparently I fall under this category). But they do not define you. They do not determine whether you are good or bad at expressing yourself. They do not define your worth.

You are worthy of so much more than a number on a screen. You are worthy of the moon, the stars, the sun. You are beautiful, accomplished, talented, and able. You are enough.

So remember that sharing your story is not for the famous, the model thin, the comedians, or the stylists. It is for everyone. Take pride in and enjoy your experience with social media. Share something positive, something uplifting. Make someone's day, reach out to someone new, or old, or sad, or happy. Make a difference.

have you struggled with a bit (or a lot) of "online jealousy"?


Natalie Juns said...

I really appreciate this post! I hate when I compare myself to other bloggers. I forget why I blog when I do that. I find that sometimes it's best to take a step back and forget about the numbers when feeling overwhelmed.

Sarah Rose said...

Totally on the same page as you right now. I just wrote a post about comparing yourself to others. You should check out this article that I stumbled upon when I was having some of these same struggles. A lot of good stuff in it!


Hope that helps a bit. It's a feeling we all face, but we can't let ourselves get too down and out!

Mila said...

That's funny you post this because just this morning I stumbled upon http://www.bbonafide.com/ . I believe that campaign just started (don't know much about it) but I enjoyed reading the two posts on their blog.

I feel like it's the mentality of wanting more and more and wanting TO BE more. I feel like we need to learn to be okay with what we have and who we are. I love my following of 160 people for my blog. They're my genuine readers and that's all I really need.

Internet can be so vicious. I remember doing a giveaway with a blogger one time, then I met that blogger in real life and they didn't even know who I was. It just proves to show that being genuine and caring is number one, and the number of followers don't matter. It's about creating long lasting friendships, being kind to each other and uplifting each other, not about gaining numbers from people who don't even matter.

I feel like I'm rambling a little bit, but I hope that helps.


Eccentric Owl said...

Oh, recently I had been struggling with this too! More online jealousy than irl jealousy. I read so many blogs, and I've been really aware lately that mine is not as fancy, my style is not as trendy, I am definitely not an ideal body type, my writing is not as good... man. Those things can get to you so fast!

But then I reminded myself that I really don't blog to be popular or to be the best; I simply blog to bring joy. To myself AND to others. And if blogging is making me feel insecure, or not successful, or jealous... I definitely have my priorities all wrong!

Thank you for writing this. It's been on my mind lately but I couldn't really find the right words.
Eccentric Owl

jess buckley said...

I totally know how you feel. I've seen blogs blow up over night over (seemingly) nothing, and I felt left behind in the dust. In times like that I focus on all the things I do have, like a bunch of really sweet blogging friends that I wouldn't trade the world for.

This post was really well written and I think you're doing a great job of keeping your tiny moments of blog jealousy in perspective. Its hard sometimes!

PS: we still need to get together soon and devise a plan to take the blogging world by storm! <3

Carley Lee said...

Gentri, you are an absolute gem - thank you for sharing your heart on this subject. This is definitely something I have come up against, and you communicated your thoughts eloquently with beautiful vulnerability.

I noticed nearing the end of this post, you switched from "I" to "you" but I hope you have internalized these words as something that's true for you as well:
YOU, Gentri, are worthy of so much more than a number on a screen. You are worthy of the moon, the stars, the sun. You are beautiful, accomplished, talented, and able. YOU, Gentri, are enough.

The internet is a better place because of you. I pray that you will come to understand your worth and value beyond stats and comparisons, because you, my dear, are one of a kind.

Lots of love to you,

Beverly Houpt said...

Ugh, blogging! ha. Why are we so obsessed with ourselves??

I follow this one particular blogger. She's relatively popular and I've been following her for a few years. I always left comments because it seems like we have a ton in common and I genuinely love her photos and personality! She usually never returned comments and sometimes she ignored questions that I asked. I made the mistake of taking this personally. It got to the point where I just wanted her to like me and be my friend, and I even got pretty depressed about it for a couple of days, no joke. I'm so embarrassed about it.

I then I realized that this is the dumb internet, and although it happens a lot, sometimes you just can't make friends with people through a screen. I have a feeling that I could make friends with her in a real-life setting, but that may never happen. I have come to terms with the fact that I'll always be a fan rather than a friend. This all sounds so silly and juvenile, right?? haha. Laughing at myself for days.

I've learned a lot from that experience, and now I'm much more lax about blogging. Let's all take a chill pill. Do what you do.

Brandi said...

I'm sorry you're feeling this right now. Like you said, I think we have all struggled with it. Just keep doing what you're doing. Don't forget there are those of us who stick by your side through every moment and love what you do. I'm your number one fan.

Tori Baldridge said...

You ARE more than enough!!

Marsa said...

you're amazing gentri!
i remember when i first started blogging. you were (and still are) like an idol to me! I was like... she's so awesome. I wanna be like her.

And then I met you at a blogger event thing and you were just the sweetest person ever! For some reason I expected you to kinda just brush me off because my blog was so new and yours was so awesome. High school much? hahaha anyway, you're amazing and your blog is amazing! Honestly, numbers don't even matter anymore. It's all about the readership. I mean, who cares if you have 5000 "followers" but nobody cares to stop by or even read what you have to say? I always make sure to stop by my favorite blogs every so often and you're definitely one of them.

Love ya girl and miss you!! :)


Marlen said...

I loved that you called it "sharing your story" rather than just blogging or sharing information, because when I center on that, that's when it all seems worthwhile. I definitely struggle with the number game- not understanding how some people got to shoot to the top so quickly, or get so many opportunities, and there are dark moments where I sulk with a bag of teddy graham crackers over it.

But I try to focus on the people that are paying attention to me. That appreciate my thoughts and my work, and keep coming back for more. Because even though we are behind on those big numbers, we still have an audience that really appreciates what we have to say. And I feel like when I change my persepctive that way, it all becomes less discouraging, and much more worth while.

But, then of course, you get that generic comment that's like "love your dress, follow 4 follow?" when you're clearly wearing pants....and you want to throw your computer. Haha there will always be ups and downs, so its nice when a blogger opens up about it and we can all talk about it and feel a bit better :)

xo marlen
Messages on a Napkin

Kristian said...

I think this can be very true, especially the way online life is a curated picture of life. Not that that is a bad thing. Many point out they want to focus on the positive- for themselves as well as others- but it can make you feel down when you compare one person's curated picture of their life to your everyday (and therefore uncurated) one.

Anyway, I liked this and thank you for writing it!

Ashley Z. said...

I struggle with this A LOT. Thanks for sharing this.

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