An Indonesian friend of mine is travelling in a couple of European cities right now. Regularly she shares pics and videos on her Instagram account. Yesterday one of her followers commented on my friend’s short video, I quote ‘Is it your hobby to make people envious (of your updates)?. Have a good holiday, I wait for your post’.
After seeing that particular comment above, I tried hard not to reply it. Instead I started wondering if that person really meant what she wrote. Was it a colloquial comment? Did I take it too seriously? You see as a polyglot sometimes I tend to take words literally at first. These questions brought me browsing on internet looking for answers. With these questions in mind I explored the world wide web: Is being envious only exclusively for girls/women? This was the case of what I saw in many situations. Could boys/men be envious too?
Then I found what I looked for. Christine Harris, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego explained in a publication that people under 30 are more prone to envy.
These are the highlights of the study as quoted from the article:
- More than three-fourths of all study participants reported experiencing envy in the last year, with slightly more women (79.4 percent) than men (74.1 percent).
- The experience declined with age: About 80 percent of people younger than 30 reported feeling envious in the last year. By ages 50 and over, that figure went down to 69 percent.
- Overwhelmingly, people envied others of their own gender.
The second highlight might be the reason me not being envious of others. I dislike such comment at the start of this post because I am 43 years old. If I see something which is beautiful or better than I have, I will tell myself: this is inspirational; how can I have/realize it myself? My next remark regarding highlight number 2: Are the elder more content with their life thus less envious because of their age and experiences? That they know they can’t have it all?
The third highlight is interesting, people envied others of their own gender; financial and occupational success, relationship, physical appearance. Being a women I expected this only happened earlier between women than men. So I was wrong. This point requires more explorations as I genuinely find this fascinating.
This is the second time I have been triggered to write about how people react with envy on social media. Last year I wrote about The Green Monster. In that post I shared some tips to avoid being envious as envy is bad, it brings you nowhere. To compliment it, here is a guide to overcome envy. I hope this might help. So you won’t stay in front of a mirror and ask ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the enviest of them all?’.
As for me; next time I see envious comment I will recall the study, that it has to do with age.