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Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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Social Social with Rob Gould
Posted: December 19, 2014

Social media envy and the holidays | Eggnog and envy don’t mix

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It’s that time of year again. The holiday season should be filled with family, friends, good times, and love. Yet, for many, social media has turned this typically joyous time of year into one filled with lust and envy. Stupid Facebook. Last year, I shot a Tech Trends segment with Erin Ovalle at WMTW 8 ABC on the topic of social media envy and the holidays. I also wrote a post that appeared here that I thought it made sense to post again.

Now, do me a favor and remember that everyone posts to social media through a filter. You only get to see the best side of things. You’ll see that perfectly appointed tree but you won’t see the knock-down, drag-out fight that preceded getting it into its stand and decorated. You’ll see that beautiful holiday table but you likely won’t see photos of drunk aunt Martha passed out underneath it. And, if it makes you feel any better, I had to throw out my tree because my cat ate a bunch of it and barfed it up all over a bunch of presents. You will NOT see those photos on my Instagram account. So, go easy with the envy. Envy and eggnog make lousy companions.

You can check out a link to the Tech Trends segment here and you’ll find the post below:

The holidays are all about giving and love and family and peace on earth and good will to men (and women), and all that good stuff. The last thing they should be about is envy. Unfortunately, with the advent of social media a new, and well-documented, phenomenon has developed called “social media envy.” It seems to be especially prevalent during the holiday season. “Facebook envy” has been well-documented—read/listen to more about it in this 90.9 WBUR segment here—and now with the meteoric rise in popularity of Instagram this envious trend has expanded in its scope.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in The New York Times titled, “The Agony of Instagram” that discussed the intensity of Instagram envy at the holidays. People look at each other’s photos (just like with Facebook) and compare their holiday tables, gifts, decorations, etc with envy. Some people go so far a to compare their entire lives to the lives of others, all through the filter of social media.

I joined Erin Ovalle at WMTW 8 ABC for a Tech Trends segment on this topic. We discussed the phenomenon of social media envy and a few things you can do to avoid it during the holidays. Most important, we talked about how you can use social media to enhance, rather than detract from, your holiday festivities.

As always, I had a lot of fun talking with Erin. It’s a pleasure to work with her and the team at WMTW 8 ABC. I want to thank them for asking me to come on the show.

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