Summary of “The age of envy: how to be happy when everyone else’s life looks perfect”

To explore the role that envy plays in our use of social media, Kross and his team designed a study to consider the relationship between passive Facebook use – “Just voyeuristically scrolling,” as he puts it – and envy and mood from moment to moment.
The results were striking, he says: “The more you’re on there scrolling away, the more that elicits feelings of envy, which in turn predicts drops in how good you feel”.
No age group or social class is immune from envy, according to Andrew.
In her consulting room she sees young women, self-conscious about how they look, who begin to follow certain accounts on Instagram to find hair inspiration or makeup techniques, and end up envying the women they follow and feeling even worse about themselves.
While we are busy finding the perfect camera angle, our lives become a dazzling, flawless carapace, empty inside but for the envy of others and ourselves, in a world where black cats languish in animal shelters because they are not “Selfie-friendly”.
“Envy is wanting to destroy what someone else has. Not just wanting it for yourself, but wanting other people not to have it. It’s a deep-rooted issue, where you are very, very resentful of another person’s wellbeing – whether that be their looks, their position or the car they have. It is silent, destructive, underhand – it is pure malice, pure hatred,” she says.
She believes envy is not innate; that it starts with an experience of early deprivation, when a mother cannot bond with her baby, and that child’s self-esteem is not nourished through his or her life.
Perhaps each of us also needs to think more carefully when we do use social media actively, about what we are trying to say and why – and how the curation of our online personas can contribute to this age of envy in which we live.

The orginal article.