It’s about prioritizing, not having it all.

I’m going to try to tread carefully here, because the article I’m linking to wades into some issues around societal and individual norms and expectations around both working and stay at home mothers, and I really have nothing to add to that part of the discussion. But it also touches on a set of issues that can affect anyone who uses social media.

So, here we go.

Rachel Jones thinks people are putting too much pressure on themselves and each other to cook interesting home meals. Spurred on by various aspects of the “foodie” movement and by social media, which can put even our least social meals on display to be judged by our friends and family.

According to the fairly steady drumbeat of stories about how Facebook (and social media, in general) is making you depressed, the weight of perceived expectations we construct for ourselves based on the lives we think our friends are living can be overwhelming.

There’s the friend that’s seemingly always off visiting some exotic locale. Another goes to all the best rock shows. Then there’s that one guy who seems to always run into celebrities wherever he goes. And don’t forget the woman who is always up to date on the latest and greatest TV shows and movies.

Even if you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t have everything that all your friends have, in aggregate. Every concert you attend is a decision to not watch the latest episode of Mad Men, or to not braise a rack of lamb seasoned with herbs from your award-winning garden.

I think the trick is not to try to have everything, but to make sure to put your energy into having what you actually want (which are hopefully the things that are actually important to you).