Have I told you about Facebook Frankenstein?
Let’s discuss this uniquely 21st century monster and how to keep him at bay with the powerful weapon of gratitude.
What is Facebook Frankenstein?
Just like the Frankenstein from the old black and white movies, our Facebook Frankenstein is this warped combination of a bunch of different human beings.
But instead of taking an arm from Benny Smith, a leg from T.J. McStumperson, a torso from Jim Gustafson, we take the variety of highlights we see on Facebook, Instagram, or some other social media channel, cobble them together to form one idealized, perfect, we’ll-never-match-it type of life.
We’ll take Mary’s new house, the Colton family’s Disney vacation, Luke’s promotion, and of course Haley’s selfie and her perfect abs from Instagram.
Then toss in someone else’s new car, their kid’s valedictorian graduation, their other kid’s travel soccer success, and the spouse’s prize for some achievement in higher academia.
Go ahead and mix in a few other areas of comparison. You know your particular weaknesses.
Pretty soon, you’ve stitched together the perfect suburban life.
Then comes the fun part: Start comparing your own life to this highlight reel, unrealistic, monstrous Facebook Frankenstein.
Good luck coming out of that exercise with your self-esteem and pride intact.
Facebook Frankenstein = the Monster of Comparison
In the end, what we’re dealing with here is comparison. Comparison is that tendency most of us have to gauge our own lives by the lives of others.
This tendency ends badly no matter how you slice it. If you compare yourself and think you stack up pretty darn nicely, thank you, you’ll be bumping up against that nasty pride.
If you compare yourself to the highlight reel of others (this Facebook Frankenstein that you created) and determine that you’re falling too far behind in this game of life, you’ll find yourself full of envy, jealousy, and the beginnings of bitterness.
Enter gratitude: our weapon against this monstrous Facebook Frankenstein.
Gratitude is one weapon we can use to battle this evil of comparison:
1. Gratitude for the things in your own world.
Start small and build – that’s our method. Start with your breath, your health, your home, your job. Journal it. Own these things that are good in your world.
2. And Gratitude on behalf of others.
This gratitude trick should put Facebook Frankenstein to death.
Be thankful, on behalf of others, for the good things that are going on in their lives. If you know them personally, send your congratulations and encouragement. If not, you can develop the internal practice of dropping a “What an awesome opportunity for Suzie!” or a “I’m happy for the Jenkins family, that they were able to get that new house!”
The simple truth is this: The good things that happen to others have absolutely no real, physical effect on whether or not the same or similar good things happen to you.
Identify when you start creating this Facebook Frankenstein.
Use gratitude to put a halt to it.
This post is part of #SimplyThankful November. Drop a note in the comments with what you’re #SimplyThankful for right now! Or come visit me on Facebook.