I like to comparison shop but sometimes I do things out of order. I find a great deal, indulge in an impulse buy, and then look up reviews, other products, other prices online because I'm curious and then I always have buyer's remorse. Why do I do this? Well, that's a topic for another time and another therapist.
Sometimes participating the all-powerful social network/blogosphere feels like a bad case of comparison shopping after the purchase. I've made and am making choices for my life: jobs, education, who to marry, where to live, when to pursue my goals, which dreams to bless and let go, how to cut my hair, how to decorate my house, how to nurture my relationship, who to spend time with, when to have or not have kids, what clothes to wear, etc, etc, etc. So, good. This is my life right now. It will continue to change but right now, this is it. Great. I got a good deal on it too.
And then I go online. Well, but that person lives there and she looks pretty happy. She didn't get married yet and look at all the fun stuff she's doing. Oh, her hair is long and it looks really good. They already have two kids so they are practically halfway done raising them and I haven't even started. Her husband does all these little things for her, would S even think of that? His job looks like fun and he seems like he's making a lot of money, I could probably do that. How did they take three big trips this year? They completely redid their house...that they own. She has ten good friends that she seems to see all the time, sigh. OMG, she ran a marathon!? Wow, they seem so happy all the time.
My own neuroses aside, is this an unpleasant side effect of Facebook and blog scrolling? I know this kind of comparison shopping has always happened, just read any Jane Austen novel, but does our increased connectedness exacerbate this unhealthy tendency? I know intimate details about the lives of people who I otherwise would never see ever again or have any reason to give even a passing thought if it weren't for Facebook. What do you think? Do we need a collective therapy session to help us interact with our extensive social network in a healthy way...or is it just me?
3 years ago