Psychologists are seeing more and more examples of ‘envy’ in the consulting room. Why is this? Well, social media is partly to blame. People are increasingly falling down the never-ending rabbit holes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds, then finding it hard to climb back out as they watch people ‘showcase’ their wonderful, perfect lives.
Envy is being taken to an extreme
As the University of Michigan’s psychology professor, Ethan Kross, points out: “Envy is being taken to an extreme”. We’re constantly bombarded by “Photoshopped lives”, he explains, “and that exerts a toll on us the likes of which we have never experienced in the history of our species.”
Social media makes everyone available for comparison and that’s where envy creeps in. There’s kitchen envy, holiday envy, lifestyle envy, job envy, everything envy! We’re bombarded with images of people we sometimes don’t even know, depicting a life we wish we had.
Social media can leave us feeling inadequate
Followers can start to feel socially inadequate as they sense a hollowness in their life as it doesn’t seem to match up to other people’s. What we miss, of course, is that these platforms help stage an ‘airbrushed life’. Many people only show the best of themselves and sometimes they pretend everything in the garden’s rosy when in reality it’s really not. Behind closed doors other people’s lives can be far from perfect. No filter.
This is why many have blown the whistle on themselves as they admit the allure of social media is waning and can, unleashed, be detrimental to their wellbeing – sometimes negatively affecting their mental health, increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness. More people are craving a simpler, less competitive way of keeping in touch with friends.
Schoolmates focus on meaningful relationships
SchoolMates is a refreshing new alternative; a simple, free, niche networking platform. It differs from traditional social media in that the focus is on building more meaningful relationships and encouraging interaction between users.
It is dedicated exclusively to helping users get back in touch with former classmates. They can reminisce, sharing conversations, in jokes, old stories, memories and photographs all in one, easy-to-use website. Aimed at the 25 plus age group it represents 50% of the population and allows users to re-connect with old pals and make new ones.
Rekindle special relationships
The website encourages users to rekindle those special relationships with school, college and uni friends they’ve lost touch with. The site is an extension of social media – but simpler, catering for those who don’t particularly want to get swaddled and overwhelmed, but still want to feel part of the community. It enables users to move away from those feeds that get clogged with trivial updates and get straight to re-connecting with friends from the past.
Chris Goodwin, founder of SchoolMates, had the ambition to ‘conquer the world of the internet’
After completing his studies in computer science. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened, Chris was diagnosed with a tumour that had grown the length of his spine. Requiring major surgery which left Chris’ legs palalysed and wheelchair bound, he didn’t dwell on his disability. Indeed, his positive outlook on life proved to be the catalyst for a successful career in web development and now, in his 50s, the launch of SchoolMates.