Facebook envy: Jealousy resulting from the misperception that everyone has a great life but you.

It’s actually not Facebook’s fault that we tend to portray ourselves in the best possible light online. Why we do it is another topic for another day. For now, just accept that it’s what people do. And Facebook just happens to be the most popular way to do it.

Back in the day, you’d see your neighbor drive up in his brand new Porsche or he’d drop by for a beer and brag about his awesome new job or brilliant investment scheme. But social media has taken it so far beyond “keeping up with the Jones’s” it isn’t funny.

When you’re constantly bombarded with that sort of nonsense, you can’t help but be influenced by it. Whether you realize it or not, it affects your personal choices and, unfortunately, it also affects your career and business decisions.

Look, if you don’t mind being up to your eyeballs in credit card debt, be my guest. But when it comes to your work – what you do for a living and how you do it – do it because it’s what you really want to do and it’s a smart thing to do, not because you think it’s what you should do because everyone else is doing it.

When we were kids and a friend got a cool new toy or got to do something amazing, however ill advised it might have been, our folks would lay down the law and say something like, “If Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you follow?”

Since parents do far more coddling than disciplining these days, that lesson is probably lost to the ages … and lost on Gen Y, Z, and whatever comes next. But as lessons go, it’s a big one. Whether you’re starting a business, following a cause, writing a blog, reading some dopey self-help book, going gluten free, or buying a Tesla, do it because it’s right for you, not because of Facebook envy.

Image credit LadyGiselle