Thou Shall Not Covet

Epistle begins.

My relationship with social media is a precarious one. Some days I love it and other times, I curse the person whose idea it was. More than once, I have considered shutting down all my social media accounts and obliterating myself from the internet. Well, I typically consider it for all of a nanosecond and then promptly cast down the evil thought. The only thing that stops me is my thirst for information and current affairs (also known as amebo); how else will the latest gist reach me?!

One of my principal gripes with social media is that is a well oiled envy breeding machine. Sometimes, it’s obvious. We see something someone has and instantly start plotting our ‘get it too’ strategy. Other times, it’s more subtle. All seems well until we wake up one day to find we are no longer satisfied with our lives. Other people are ‘doing big things’ while we stay drowning in the well of relative insignificance.

It is an accepted fact that people tend to portray the best of their lives on social media platforms. You post a selfie when you KNOW you’re looking hot but those pictures where you’re looking jacked up rarely surface. When you are in a relationship, we know about it because your poetic status and photo updates make the rest of us want to curl up in a ball and weep for love, but it is your silence that tells us when the relationship has ended. When you get a new job, we see the update on LinkedIn but we only know you were out of work when you post a new job update and we realise there’s a six month gap between when the last one ended and the new one began. We see the portraits of your feet on Instagram when you’re wearing Louboutin and Zanotti but the portraits of your Atmosphere and Store Twenty-One purchases never get their day in the spotlight.

I’m no wet blanket. I’m happy when good things happen to people and get ridiculously excited when I see people living out their dreams and succeeding too! I also have no issues with people owning luxury items. If you can afford them, knock yourself out! I mean, I’d quite like to play landlady to a Chanel Boy bag myself (hi Yoruba Boy!). This is just me pointing out to the people who haven’t figured it out yet or those who have perhaps, forgotten, that what you see of people’s lives via social media is;

  1. what they want you to see
  2. a miniscule glimpse of their bigger picture
  3. false advertising
  4. all of the above

Let’s consider the possibility that life IS going really well for them (they are happy, rich, successful, in love, famous and everything else you dream of and haven’t quite managed to become) because let’s face it, fortune shines blindingly over some of us mortals. Alongside that, let’s also consider the reality that success is more often than not, the result of the shedding of sweat and blood. Whose blood (their ancestors perhaps), is irrelevant. When we see the evidence of other’s success advertised via social media, it’s worth reminding ourselves that;

  1. It came at a price
  2. Your success has a price too
  3. No payment, no collection
  4. all of the above


I know we’re considering many possibilities here but let’s also consider the possibility that most of your dreams do not come true in your lifetime. This is a likely possibility…and no, I’m not cursing you! What happens then? Does your life become a den of depression, regret, envy and lust?

The ability to find contentment regardless of the hand fate deals us is necessary, mandatory, if you will. If we live life happy when things are going well and miserable otherwise, we will soon turn into self-induced manic depressives.

The moral of this epistle is simply this; be content with what you have and where you are. By all means, aspire for better but on your way there, make the most of the here and now. You cannot stop people from advertising the best of their lives on social media (and I advocate celebrating others’ successes) but you can control your long throat so please, do yourself a favour and rein it in before it stretches to the point of no return.

Epistle over.

Thanks and God bless.





  1. This is so true. Sometimes the things people force down our throats on social media are the very things those same people are insecure about, same things that are going wrong. It’s like they are trying to convince the world and force us to believe all is right and perfect.

    You can easily differentiate the random posted pics from the taken for instagram/facebook/twitter pics.

    I have heard to many stories of brokenness and emptiness of people who claim perfect lives on social media. So it is very easily for me to be content with what I have. I am not interested in tapping into the blessings of that couple on bellanaija, or aspiring to drive that benz like the babe on instagram. I don’t know their story, or the price they paid for that. I’ll just be glad for what God is doing in my life.

    sorry this is long 🙂


  2. This issue of social media falsehood is one I find so funny. No one is going to post a picture of themself crying at 12midnight because their husband just hit them like a punching bag. The very ones who complain about the ones who are putting up happy pictures and status will be the first to judge and tell others of this new unfold.

    I really believe that one must be foolish to think that because a girl has a new chanel bag every month, her life is perfect or because a man and his wife travel first class every other weekend, their marriage is perfect.

    We need to learn to be content in life and shut our eyes from what others are doing. Why should someone posting happiness be a problem to any. That is how they feel and that might be their way of appreciating the little good they have in their life.

    We need to learn to let people be. No way of life is better than the other, we are all different and choose to appreciate life differently. There is always something to celebrate or be thankful for even in the midst of problems and issues. So yes, she may be out of work but she’s happy she still has a chanel bag. She may be struggling to have kids but happy she still has love from her husband and they can afford to travel the world.

    We really need to let people be and face our front! Others also have something in your life to celebrate, the fact they can’t detach themselves from their problems doesn’t mean they ahould condemn those that can. Nothing is ever perfect and we should be wise enough now to know that.

    Moral of the story: Let people be!!! 🙂


  3. Thanks for sharing this Waila

    “If we live life happy when things are going well and miserable otherwise, we will soon turn into self-induced manic depressives”…this is what I say to myself everyday lately.

    My story is the only story I truly know and that makes MY life the only life I want to live. No ‘coveting’ necessary!


  4. Great write up and so well said!
    I called social media ‘Personal PR’. Ypu get to only show the world was you want them to see.


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