Jealousy would have to be the cutest-sounding of all the petty, negative, self-destructive human emotions. It’s just a cute-sounding word: “jelly-sea”. Like a big sea of jelly, all pink and wobbly and rippling with insecurity and spite. And when you dive into the jelly-sea, you find little chewy green jubes of envy floating around everywhere. Hmmm, green envy, delectable.
When summer comes around and friends start going away on amazing holidays to incredible places, many of us take our own little holidays at home, in front of the computer, basking on the shores of the jelly-sea. We can’t avoid it; every time we go on social media, we’re forced to look at people’s holiday photos and posts, which they have kindly shared in a sweet, loving “Hey, look at me! I’m sipping Vodka Mojitos in a horizon pool in Noosa while having my feet massaged by an underwater-pedicurist named Flavio! And you’re NOT! HAHAHAAHA!” kind of way.
In a recent Telstra survey, 55 per cent of young people said that they post holiday pics on social media for no other reason than to make their friends jealous – and in my own personal survey, a whopping 100 per cent of us get really jealous when we see these holiday pics, and think those friends are massive jerks. How can we not get jealous when other people are having the time of their lives, exploring new worlds, filling their souls with joy – while the most thrilling thing we’ve done all week is clean the mouldy rubber seal around the washing-machine door, scrubbing inside the little folds like we’re giving a sponge-bath to a flabby hobo.
How can we not feel bitter when our friends are in exotic settings, eating fancy foods, drinking expensive drinks, spending loads of money – while we’ve eaten nothing but cheap spag-bol for four night straight, with a little treat of white chocolate that used to be brown chocolate but it oxidised. How can we not feel resentful when everyone else is partying in beautiful beachy spots, laughing and flirting and drinking tequila shots out of each other’s bellybuttons – while the sexiest thing we’ve done lately is watch Nigella Lawson on TV, greasing her ramekins.
Another stat from the survey: more than half the 18 – 24 year olds interviewed admitted they’d chosen to wear a particular outfit on holiday because it will look good in the holiday snaps. Again, how can it not make the rest of us feel like losery unattractive nobodies when we’re constantly bombarded with selfies of our friends, looking all happy and healthy and snazzily dressed, even though they probably took four hundred and eighty-two shots, picked the best one, cropped it, applied filters, defused the colours, retouched the blotches, then sent it to us from one of Australia’s 100 holiday hotspots. But on Snapchat. Set for three seconds.
Yes we know we could just stop going on social media, stop poring over everyone’s holiday posts, stop comparing our own lives to a distorted ideal that doesn’t really exist – we know this, but we can’t look away, we can’t stop splashing around in the jelly-sea. It’s a bit cold and unpleasant at first, but once you’re in, it’s actually quite refreshing.
Telstra is preparing for the increased number of selfies this summer
To maintain the same service quality in spite of significantly increased demand, Telstra has implemented measures, including localised service boosting to help address call congestion and slowing data speeds in more than 100 holiday hotspots nationwide.