Social media connects us to more people than ever. Unfortunately, it connects us to a super-happy, sepia-toned, brunch-ridden view of each other’s best sides that leaves us quivering piles of jealous sweat.
It does for me at least. These days, I can’t log on to the internet without wincing in fear of what terrible way I’m about to compare myself to everyone I know.
Facebook in particular has changed from a place where I once checked to see if my crushes from high school were still attractive into a devastating achievement parade of weddings, babies, beautiful vacation photos and righteous political quotes.
Full disclosure: I am particularly prone to jealousy. I once got envious of the attention a friend of mine paid to the South Dakota state quarter. Still, even an emotionally rational person must get irritated by the just-below-bragging line level of celebrating that happens on Facebook.
My gut instinct is to fight back and devote my life to destroying the internet. But that is a) emotionally counterproductive, and b) hard.
Instead I would like all of us to agree to simple policy for social media: For every four flattering things you post on Facebook, you must also post one unflattering thing.
By “flattering things” I mean to keep doing what you’re already doing:
- the famous person you saw walk by you on your trip to Los Angeles,
- the arm-in-arm photo with your significant other,
- the photo of your baby, which will be your profile photo until you die,
- the friends at brunch, brandishing Bloody Marys
- the half-marathon time,
- the Spotify playlist with Katy Perry removed and Nick Drake added
Keep ‘em coming. But after four of those you have to put one unflattering thing.
But by “unflattering thing” I mean one honest detail of your life that you’re not proud of. Limited to but not including:
- photo of you hauling a recycling bag of wine bottles out to the curb
- video of you eating no less than three Krispy Kreme donuts while watching DVR of American Idol after midnight
- mp3 of you drunk dialing your ex
- photo of any body hair
- tumblr post admitting you got bored while masturbating
- Instagram photo of yourself in fluorescent lighting, no filter, shot from below so you have like five chins.
- list of the last three books you read, but really. Must include one paperback bought at an airport and/or Us Magazine.
What does NOT count as unflattering is anything you’d call a “guilty pleasure.”