An annual round robin to anyone on the Christmas card list to tell (brag) about your life in the past year. Little Johnny got into the best university; Sheila had her 11th child (without pain relief) and breastfed until said child was 33-you know the thing.
The good thing about these letters is that if you know someone is particularly annoying when it comes to family boasting, you have the choice to not look at it. Either leave it inside the Christmas card and look at it at a later date or just throw it away and be secretly smug that you had the courage not to look at it at all. Plus they only come once a year.
With social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the choice not to look at people crowing about how fabulous their lives are is not an option. Sure you can choose to not go on at all but, it you have an account, the whole point of being a member of these online communities is to share. And it’s relentless.
Daily reminders of how inadequate I am. A bit dramatic? Oh, ok!
Some people believe it is only the young who suffer from Facebook envy but I do.
Yes I admit it, sometimes when everything seems to be going wrong in my life, I look at some of the status updates on Facebook and think why me? Why do bad things always happen to me and my family?
Thankfully I have perspective (most of the time).
Yes the things that people put on Facebook is the truth (mostly) but it is an edited form of the truth.
‘Look at my gorgeous new dress’ can be translated to ‘I put it on a credit card and will be paying it off for seven months.
‘My husband/boyfriend brought me breakfast in bed’ doesn’t reveal ‘but he was out until 4am the night before, missed my birthday and left muddy footprints on the new carpet just minutes before.’
How about ‘Milly can count up to 112 now and she is only 6 weeks old can also be translated to ‘I am delusional in my postnatal haze and will say my child can do anything to annoy my friends.’
Do you get what I mean? Facebook statuses and the like tell the truth but it is a partial truth (apart from the one about the six-week-old baby counting up to 112, obviously).
Every time your skin prickles at someone’s over-enthusiastic status update, try and relax and make up a funny counter-update in your head.
So when the silly school-gate friend says Tarquin got ten out of ten for his latest spelling test you can think to yourself-yes but you saw Tarquin’s mum in the local pub the other day knocking back vodka shots at 2pm-just make it up, no one will ever find out!!
Charmaine’s husband who brings her breakfast in bed every Sunday wears her clothes every Tuesday night and goes by the name of Janet.
No one is better than anyone else. Just remember that next time you get Facebook envy.