I'm not sure whether envy is intrinsic to the human condition because of evolution, or whether it's a societal thing. I rarely feel it nowadays. It's a pinprick, a sharp poignant insult to our ego. When you see a crush with an attractive person of particular interest, or maybe a friend succeeding a LOT—surpassing you. Or an ex, or a rival, or a sibling, or even in extreme cases a stranger. Envy feels like a sickness infecting your soul, invalidating your existence and twisting your heart until it cracks. I left Facebook because of it. I don't do Instagram--it's stupid, anyways. Snapchat is the most I'll do, and Twitter rarely induces envy. Envy is a superficial emotion, catering to our need—our crave—to be correct in the eyes of society; to feel validated. It's why fulfillment cures it. There are many myths and fables that all tell the story of those who succumb to envy, warning about the perils of feeling greed and jealousy, describing the embitterment. Shakespeare, the "green-eyed monster" is why envy is associated with a sickly shade of green. It plagues everyone, and causes us to lose our sense of pride--clawing at anyone, clinging to anything, doing anything to restore our sense of validation and acceptance. We post attractive pictures of us, have sex with people who we don't actually like, talk ill of those "beneath" us, and scramble for views or likes or hearts on social media.
The capitalistic advertisement culture creates this illusion, this enforced idea of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... .. . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . .
I've felt a massive disconnect from my grade for the past two years. Maybe it has something to do with this--at least, partly. Everyone consumed in their phones during breaks in the day, or at lunch. Joking with one another, trying to convince or one-up someone. It makes sense, I've been disconnected from the stream of likes and petty drama. I quit Facebook in 7th grade, imagine how many pictures of friends I had missed—pictures aimed at making others jealous or induce a feeling of missing out. Occasionally I'll get hit with with a prick of FOMO, i.e. the "Fear of Missing Out". I hear about how often my friends hang out, the recent concert I missed, how their AP Literature class is doing really cool rhetoric, how my math class is behind the next even though I feel as though I could be in the accelerated math. It makes me sad, then angry, then I feel bad and do stupid things like avoid a friend out of a petty way of thinking.
The thought process of envy goes like this: "If I stop talking to _____, they'll come back to me and I can be the one to reject them, making them feel bad" or "If I impress this girl, she'll like me and I can finally be the one to turn her down". It's silly, dramatic, pathetic, petty. Very human.
All of it never works, and being completely honest, that thinking only works good for one thing: temporary mental relief from the sadness. A common consensus among psychologists is that that the act of fantasizing is a way for humans to cope with the impossibility of things. Knowing you won't be able to get with the girl of your dreams is too overwhelming, so you fantasize about getting married and settling down to cope. The same works for sexual fantasy, etc.
I'm typing this because 10 minutes ago, I was hit with a wave of envy while surfing my theatre Facebook (the Facebook I created only for theatre, and only check once every 1-3 months). I saw the success of another, and my face burned cold with the odd feeling heralded by envy. I didn't feel like I was good enough, and it got to me. I was having a REALLY nice night, and now everything sucked. It wasn't ennui or anger, it was just the opposite of fulfillment. I was hollow on the inside, I felt like nothing mattered. I could die and nothing would happen. A bit of a hyperbolic emotion, but envy does that--it accentuates and bloats the negative emotions, fogging all logic and reason.
I truly believe that I'm going to have a crazy, amazing life. I fear that those consumed in appealing to others, those so involved in social media and texting and partying, those crumbling under societal scorn, won't be able to tag along for the ride. My dearest friends, girls I've liked, my companions from childhood, hell even the people that make my blood curdle with how judgmental they can be, all of them I see putting on a facade on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and in REAL, DAY-TO-DAY interaction. I guess I'm still not on Facebook for that reason: I don't want to see envy.
The quote, which I hate and respect, is as follows: You are enough. I hate it because it's tacky, I appreciate it because it's true--at least on the level that being a human automatically validates your humanity. That should be the quote: "Being a human automatically validates your humanity". I'm going to post that on Twitter now, where I don't try to make friends jealous and only follow comedians and friends trying to make me smile.
Thus to conclude, a relevant eloquent
"But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes."