Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Jealousy within the crafting community

It seems jealousy is back as a major issue within the online crafting community. I'm seeing signs of distress and of a backlash against Instagram. It's sad because usually I love to see people chatting to each other about handmade and what they've achieved that day. Instead I'm seeing online bullying and I think that stems, partially at least, from jealousy.

Hestercombe House, Taunton

Jealousy is a feeling of wanting what someone else has. Within the crafting community online it is accepted by most people that they will experience these emotions and, for most people, the emotions stay on the surface and actually feed into their creativity and drive.

But for some, a small percentage of people, the emotions bury deep inside, particularly if they also suffer from feelings of low self-worth, anxiety or depression. It festers within them and it becomes dark. Their own creativity is neglected, sometimes completely. After all, why bother if other people crochet better, knit nicer things and make more sales on Etsy? What's the point of being mediocre?

I have experienced these emotions myself and have also been the subject of jealousy. Both have been intensely painful. I have felt the panic rise as someone seems to direct their irrational feelings towards a random skill I may have or something I have done. The irony is often that I've felt really sorry for them as I know how it feels to want someone else's job or intelligence or talent. Often people have no interest in hearing about the struggle the object of their jealousy may have suffered. Poverty, distress and illness are not written in a list on the front of your clothes as you walk around in life.

Recently I've realised taking action can solve some of these negative feelings. If you stumble across a blog where someone has had five books published, is seemingly rich and looks fantastic all at the age of sixteen, and you feel sick with envy perhaps you should start writing and networking. If a seller on Etsy is selling fantastically well see if they have done any interviews anywhere on the web and study their daily routine, where they go for inspiration and where they studied, then see if you can be inspired by them instead of feeling down.

Perhaps if it really annoys you so much take a break from whatever social media you use the most and go somewhere else instead? Pinterest is less overwhelming and jealousy-inducing than Instagram and can be a great source of creative inspiration.

Perhaps just switch the internet off completely and remind yourself other things are way more important.

1 comment:

Paula Ball said...

I stumbled upon this post & it touched a nerve. Over the course of my life I've seen this type of behavior time & time again. I was a professional paperhanger for almost 30 years, when I had to retire I started raising parrots for a short time. I got out of that quickly & became a wildlife rehabber that led me to pet rescue which is what I've been doing for the last 14 years. Within ALL these fields there is intense competitiveness & jealousy.The sad thing is, it's always women hating other women. I've not got Instagram, but have heard stories of people taking credit for another's post or project. Its a sad commentary on certain people's life & social media has exposed everyone who participates. The truth is, there's a lot of creeps out there.

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