At the cost of passing for the usual gruff and grumpy, I repeat, because I have been saying this for some time, that “Instagram seriously damages your health”. But I will tell you more my “dear readers”; the more time passes, the more what was initially an intuition is being corroborated in me in the most solid of convictions.

Yes, because it appears increasingly evident to me how the standardization of the use of these social networks is completely altering, both on a personal and collective level, the vision we have of ourselves … Already in this post of mine I told you about the great bluff behind the Instagram profiles, completely virtual shop windows that tell personal and family realities, sweetened at best, absolutely non-existent at worst.

Well, in addition to the frantic pursuit of appearing (even at the cost of pretending), Instagram is generating a new phenomenon of what could be defined as a new form of “social envy”. Caution. Do not confuse this social envy, of which I am speaking now, with its traditional meaning; to be clear, in the classic sense social envy is what the average Italian feels towards politicians, entrepreneurs, footballers etc who lead the good life while he, the average Italian mentioned above, struggles to make ends meet .

Social envy

I am talking about a new, more “local” form of social envy, that is the one that arises from looking at the Instagram profile of the people we know more or less directly.

The basic mechanism is the following: we are at home sitting on the sofa, and with our finger we scroll the Instagram posts on our smartphone. We are there spectators of the (false) lives of others who in that moment, filtered not only through the Instagram filters but also through the screen of our smartphone, and seem more and more beautiful, fun and fascinating than ours. We have our ups and downs and instead others are always there smiling in favor of the camera. We are always on a diet or short of money, and the others, those of Instagram, whisper “in the best” places in Italy and the world as if there was no tomorrow. We find it hard to look in the mirror and instead of aging others seem to rejuvenate year after year (even if it would be better to say: “filter after filter”).

This process is devastating because it undermines self-esteem and makes us feel unhappy even when we have everything we need to live just fine on this Earth. But no, the neighbor’s Instagram is always greener than ours and then relationships die even faster than before because we are convinced that we can find better outside of ours. In the same way, money is no longer enough, our car, our lifestyle and our work are no longer good. And there another negative emotion arises, frustration. How can you be happy in the glossy world of Instagram with a salary of 1500 euros? And from there begins the search for the shortcut, more or less ethical (but who cares, we are in the era of appearances) to make money and, most importantly, get it right away! Yes, because there are no longer any long-term projects, only desires that run out in the short life cycle of a post.


Other than that of consumerism. Here we have arrived at the purest nihilism, the ephemeral that becomes the law of life.

I confess to you, as much as an Instagram visitor, I have decided to come out with this hamster wheel of transforming my life into content for social networks. To do this, I decided that there are things I can lose without affecting my serenity; I have decided that relationships, whether sentimental or friendly, are only those measurable in hugs (real), in handshakes (real), in laughter made in front of a glass of Jefferson (real).

I don’t know, it will be a matter of age, but I still prefer to “throw myself” into the life and into the world that goes on outside my iPhone screen. Not that I always like them. Sometimes, even for me, as for everyone, the real reserves days that I would prefer not to live. When it happens, my secret is to make myself a toast, go to sleep, and wait for the next day. Real life does not shake with a finger, even when it is really needed. But precisely this makes it even more beautiful to live, to build day by day, expressing that commitment that means that, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but already the day after tomorrow, our real life can resemble the one we dream of. There is so much beauty outside of social networks, trust me. But to appreciate it, we must abandon “the lens of continually comparing ourselves to others”.

But if you can, I assure you, you will see all forms of social envy die and, as if by magic, the moment you really manage to abandon yourselves to your real life for what it is, you will see how much richer it is than you have so far. you are told, an absolutely unique, unrepeatable story, yours.