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Cartoon: spending too much time on Facebook

7 Ways to Make Your Facebook Friends Green with Envy

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

You have probably read about recent research, by University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, that Facebook use makes people unhappy. And the more a person uses Facebook, the more likely she is to be unhappy. This is because a typical Facebook user looks at her friends' pictures showing beautiful homes, lovely cars, exotic holiday destinations and well-groomed, genius children; She reads he friends' posts about successes, going to fantastic parties, getting great jobs and having sex with celebrities; and she feels her own life is miserably dull and poor in comparison. Of course, she forgets that most Facebook users cherry pick the good bits of their lives to share and keep the less glamorous bits to themselves.

You might think the solution to this problem is simple: use Facebook less often. That might work, but it prevents you from making your Facebook friends envious. Here are seven things you can do with Facebook to depress your friends and get the revenge you deserve.

1. New Bentley

You'll need the help of a couple of  close 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 photographs the two of you and 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, the ethnicity of the staff and decorations. 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."

Facebook status: Lovely view but the wine list is miserable - at Internatonal Space Station - Orbiting Earth

4. Location, Location, Location

When you post a status update on Facebook, you can manually set the location by clicking on the little. 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

Siduhe 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 some of the images are more amateurish in style and so may seem more legitimate to your fictional Facebook life.

7. Just Be Creative

As you can see, the real trick to creating a Facebook life your friends will envy is to be creative with the truth and illustrate it whenever possible with images that seem to support that truth. You can do it too!

Happiness

While creating a fabulous Facebook life will make your friends envious, it probably won't make you any happier. If anything, the difference between your glamorous Facebook life and your less glamorous actual life will make you feel even worse about yourself.

The alternative, of course, is simply to take pride in who you are. Be honest. Be open. Be proud of your wonderful home, your great kids and your accomplishments. Your friends may not turn green with envy. But, they'll like you all the more for being you.

 

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