AKA : When your news feed get clogged with other people’s happiness, resort to food.
I went grocery shopping yesterday, and I was not surprised to see a Valentine’s Day endcap staring me in the face. Especially coming out of the holidays, there’s a plethora of engagements and cute couple pictures, heinous unspoken breakups, and people being reminded that they were already single in the first place. Or similarly, a lot of “wish I was there” gatherings and events – like New Years parties.
But. There is one thing most people can appreciate over those photos and status updates: Food. Together or apart, on a romantic trip to France or a snap of your morning donut, people can appreciate, be jealous of, find inspiration from, or just plain “like” a food pic.
Here are some reasons I’ve compiled on how people could react to a food photo versus an overly posed selfie of chocolate and flowers as a “surprise from my hubby xoxo” – or a “date night with the girls” vs. a well lit picture of your jack and coke.
- Envy vs. Jealousy
There is an enormous difference in the type of envy vs. jealousy one has over food vs. a lovefest. Say someone you know and their partner are in Italy eating gelato. If you see a picture of just the gelato, the immediate thoughts are –
“Wow that looks amazing”
“Oooh I’ll take two”
However – if you see a picture of the couple holding the gelato with happy faces, there’s a mixed bag of mostly non-voiced responses.
“Ugh, wish I was there instead of them.”
“Wow, jealous! Wish I was there too!”
“And here I am at my desk working. Can’t they keep that to themselves? I didn’t ask for a slide show.”
“Have fun guys!! Love mom.”
Jealousy ridden snarky comments & genuine well wishes get muddied here. People would much rather have food envy than life envy.
- Inspiration vs. Disappointment
When it’s “Oooh I should make that.” instead of “Wow they made that for them?” followed by “Why didn’t you make that for me?!”
- I Want to Go to There vs. Why can’t I be there?
Everyone is familiar with the “where’s my invite” scenario, where you see a boatload of people in a picture that you typically hang out with at your favorite bar. What if you just saw the bar? Chances are you’d be a lot happier with seeing a picture of your regular order of craft beer and nachos instead of all your friends at trivia night and you’re not invited. Whatever, you had all the answers anyway.
- I Want to Go to There vs. Swipe Left
There’s a sense of wonder when people post pictures in unique places. I once saw someone post a picture of the world’s most amazing looking macaroni and cheese and immediately thought “wow where is that I have to go right now.” If the picture had been her and all her friends eating pasta in NYC, I would have been about 70% less interested, mostly because we’re not super close. Unique places to eat are easy to come by for the most part, but it’s the focus on the food that got me interested.
- No Pressure
Say you see a picture of someone’s latte art. Except you’re on your way to starbucks to grab a quick bev on your way to the train. Well yeah, you’ll be jealous, but it’s one latte. Out of 1000 potential lattes you’ll drink in your lifetime. There’s still an opportunity to get that latte in the future, so you’re envious for the time being, but you know that if you want one, you can get one in the future. On your own time and budget. Easily.
BUT. If you see an engagement picture with an insane story about how it happened, or a surprise party that a friend threw for someone else, there’s an inherent pressure and sadness that can come along with that. The pressure for your partner to make the perfect proposal, or the sadness that he didn’t. Food is food. Love is a lot more than just a meal that comes and goes (for most people).
Overall, what I’ve done is just dehumanized your social media posts for your followers. While they can infer what they like about the photos you post, you’re generally just going to get a top-level look at what people are eating instead of what they’re doing and with whom.
Also note that there are people out there (like me), who are genuinely happy about all the love they see on their social medias – it’s all about balance. I am not knocking the occasional sweet post about your relationship status or how much you appreciate your friends/family/partner/pet, just make sure you’re not posting every second of the day about them – you’ll get all braggy and it’s not a good look on anyone.
Disclaimer: This is all just what I think about in the shower. I have no license in social interaction nor do I have any stats to prove this. BUT if you have experienced any of these leave a note in the comments with how you’ve reacted over one or the other, or how you feel about these scenarios; are you pro or against humans in food pics?
(All gifs were procured from giphy.com – if it’s yours let me know and I’ll give you credit!)