Jeffosophy: a collection of possibly useful things I have learned over the years.
 

 

 

Envy emoji looking at Facebook on smartphone 

How to Make Facebook Friends Jealous of You

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

You may have read about recent research, by University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, that shows that Facebook use predicts declines in users' well being. Or, to put it more eloquently, the more you use Facebook, the worse your well-being is likely to be. It suggests not only that people who spend a lot of time on Facebook feel worse about themselves, but that as an individual spends more time on Facebook, she felt increasingly worse. What is not clear from the study is cause and effect. Does using Facebook cause a decline in well being or do people tend to spend more time on Facebook when they are feeling down?

A likely reason for the correlation between Facebook use and worsening well being is Facebook envy. As you spend time on Facebook, you start to see that many of your friends seem to have a much better life than you do. Their houses are bigger, their cars are nicer, their holidays are more exotic and even their sweeties are better looking. You may know in your heart that they are cherry-picking the good bits of their lives to make their lives seem more glamorous. They may be stretched to the limit on their mortgages, two months late on their payments on the car and their sweeties are cheating on them. Obviously, they don't post that on Facebook.

Now, there are two things you can do with this research. One, you can reduce or discontinue your use of Facebook or you can exploit this information to make your Facebook friends seriously envious of you!

The latter option may be morally questionable, but a lot more fun! So, let's look at ways you can make your Facebook friends and enemies seriously jealous of you.

 

1. New Bentley

You'll need the help of a couple of friends for this. Get one of them dress up in a business suit and then head to your nearest Bentley (or any other high-end car) dealership. While the sales staff are busy, stand next to a new car while the friend in the suit hands you a set of keys and the other friend photographs the two of you along with enough of the car and dealership to make it recognisable. Post the picture on Facebook with a blasé caption, such as "Car shopping" or "I really wanted a blue one, but would have had to wait six months for delivery."

 

2. The Anywhere Hotel

The lobbies of big, luxury hotels look remarkably alike anywhere in the world − especially if you cannot see outside. This means you can step into a Hilton (for example) lobby in your home city, muss up your hair a bit, take a selfie and post it with a caption such as, "After a three hour delay and a dreary stop-over in Zurich, I finally made it to Dubai. Just enough time for a quick shower before my first meetings. Thank God for first class or I'd really be a wreck"

 

3. Gorgeous House

Look for open door days at new housing developments or expensive houses in your area and head on over. If the house is furnished, sit down and take a selfie − or, better still, have you partner or a friend photograph you capturing the furniture and any nice artwork. If the house is not furnished, find a window with a great view over a rolling back garden and get a picture. Then post on a weekend afternoon with a caption such as, "Chilling out at home this weekend."

 

How to set location on Facebook status update. 

4. Location, Location, Location

When you post a status update on Facebook, you can manually set the location by clicking on the location Icon (see picture above). With a little creativity, you can give the impression of being a world traveller (or interplanetary traveller) without leaving your home.

 

5. Be Blasé

You can lie easily on Facebook and get away with it if you appear suitably blasé. If you write: "I'm wearing a Gucci skirt! Ha ha!', no one will believe you. If you write, "Don't you hate it when you wear your new Gucci skirt the first time and some dolt spills red wine on it?" you are more believable because you are more blasé about it. Similar impressively blasé posts include, "Isn't that wonderful. I have an important meeting in Tokyo tomorrow and both my pilot and standby pilot are down with the flu. Now waiting for the agency to find me a replacement." and "I do wish Scarlett Johansson would stop pestering me for a date. She knows I'm in a relationship."

 

6. Write Your Own Captions to Wikipedia Pictures

Sidu River Bridge; photo by Eric Sakowski
Bungie jumping here this weekend. If you don't hear from me on Monday, you'll know I failed! ;-)
Thanks for the pic, Eric Sakowski

Pictures on Wikipedia and elsewhere can be reused freely provided you give credit to the photographer. So you can copy pictures, write impressive captions and credit the photographers like they are friends. Flickr Creative Commons is similar in allowing free use of images provided you credit the photographer. The advantage to Flickr is that many of the images are more amateurish in style and so may seem more authentic.

 

Jeffrey holding little Jeffrey doll
Mattel's latest action figure doll looks familiar.

7. Just Be Creative - Photo Manipulation Software Helps

Learn some basic photo manipulation skills and exploit them as I have done with the picture above. Professionals tend to use PhotoShop and its capabilities are awesome. But, so is its price. Unless you are a serious professional, it is probably not worth the investment. I use Corel PhotoPaint, which can do a lot and is much more reasonably priced. There are other tools out there as well.

  

8. Just Be You and Proud of It

Alternatively, just be you and be proud of it. I believe we envy happiness and contentment more than we do materialistic goods. An authentic picture of you smiling, with confident contentment, in front of a modest home or a 20 year old car or on a walk in the woods near your home will probably get loads of likes. And, your high income friends, who are working working long hours to buy things they don't need, will probably be envious of your ability to have fun in ways that a €200,000 car will never provide. 

 

 

 

 

 

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