The Poison of Social Media “Envy”

by Sivan Rahav Meir

“Shalom, my name is Avichai Shiloh. Yesterday you wrote that envy ruined the life of Korach. Up until two years ago I was part of this. In fact, all of us are a part of this to some extent. My posts on the social networks were designed to show how “in demand” I was, and how successful I was, or in short: to make others envy me. But then I would sit and scroll down through the feed – and envy every person who appeared in it.”

“The stronger the envy I felt, the more frequent my own posts became, to give a fight. I rationalized self excuses such as: it is all for professional reasons, it is necessary and part of the marketing strategy. But frankly, my purpose was to make others envious of me. I felt like I was running after honor and respect, that I was not focused on what I had, but rather on what I was lacking, and the scariest of all – that I hated others who displayed a (seemingly) much greater success than mine. I would try everything to increase my popularity: displaying misery, making others laugh, being witty, baring my soul.

Today I am trying to get out of the race. I observe it from the sidelines, and the show is both amusing and worrying. People are willing to sell themselves, their souls and their children for a “Like”. I have a love-hate relationship with this tool, torn between the need to market my own “shows” and my desire not to envy others and not to make others envious. I fight my evil inclination.

This week’s Torah Portion (Korach) is, in my opinion, a good opportunity to talk about it with sincerity. We are jealous, we cause others to be jealous of us, and the mere awareness of this, the mere talking about this – already helps, and sets something within us free.

Originally posted on Sivan Rahav Meir’s facebook page.

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