It's Valentine's Day: the day of flowers, candy, and candlelit dinners, that is, for those fortunate enough to be part of a happy couple. For others, Valentine's Day can bring on a few twinges—of loneliness, pain, envy, resentment, or some combination thereof.
But things have changed a little in recent years. I don't mean that lonely people no longer feel those twinges. What I mean is that now they get opportunities to feel them all year round.
An article in The Washington Post talks about the concept of "Facebook envy," that feeling that can ambush a person when scrolling through status updates and seeing happy announcements or reflections. According to reporter Ian Shapira, this is a rapidly growing phenomenon.
There's no shortage of people who feel pain while scrolling through Facebook: Chronically single people may envy friends' wedding pictures, for instance, and those who've lost a spouse can feel overwhelmed by friends' wedding anniversary announcements. Infertile couples say they protect themselves by hiding most, if not all, Facebook posts from pregnant friends who can't resist hitting the site's "Share" button to show off, say, the latest in maternity ware. Staffers at Shady Grove Fertility, a large provider of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in Montgomery County, said more and more patients talk about Facebook envy during consultations …. At the McLean-based National Infertility Association, executive director Barbara Collura said many couples cannot fathom why friends post so frequently about their pregnancies. "What you're hearing in the infertile world about their pregnant friends on Facebook is: 'My God, ...1
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