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Managing Cyber Envy: Studio 5

Therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW, owner and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy, cautions women to remember that a digital life is the best version of someone, not the entire picture.


Cyber life doesn’t equal real life

Someone’s cyber life is the equivalent to a perpetual first date. Women don’t post pictures of the dinner they burned last night or themselves when they wake up in the morning on Facebook. They don’t take videos of the fight they had with their hubby right before they went to dinner on the exotic beach in the Caribbean. Every woman has strengths and weaknesses, things that are going well and things that are falling apart!

Eliminate the ‘shoulds’

Women need to remove the shoulds from their vocabulary. When you see someone’s newly decorated kitchen or family photo with matching outfits, it’s easy to turn those feelings of envy into ‘shoulds’… I should get family photos taken like that, or I should redecorate my kitchen but that doesn’t mean you should do anything about it.

Take a digital time-out

Take a few days off from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or blog reading to let your emotions cool, investing more time and energy in your face-to-face relationships and focusing on the blessing you enjoy can help shift your focus from what you wish you had to what you do have. Challenge yourself to go for a walk with the family and leave your smartphone at home so you can practice being emotionally present in your relationships. Your family will thank you.

Let envy inspire you

Instead of letting envy fester or elicit negative feelings about yourself, let it be inspirational. For example, if you see some amazing photos online from someone’s week-long family cruise, instead of thinking, ‘I’m a horrible mom… Our family has never taken a cruise… What losers!’, you can think instead, ‘That looks fun. I think it’s time to start planning and saving to take my family on a fun trip.

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