In a world consumed with desire, Carl Richards tries to offer a solution to an individual’s need to be better than the person standing beside him or her with his article, “Learning to Shun the Instagram Life. ” Richards discusses how he sees others living their life, which he refers to as the “Instagram life”. He describes this life as being “focused on making it look like we have a better life than everyone else. ” He even further demonstrates that as we look at ourselves and appear happy, we also see others and feel jealousy towards those people.
Envy is considered as one of the seven deadly sins. Everyone has some jealousy in their veins, the question is do we build our lives around that jealously? Richards does a decent job trying to convince the reader that he or she should not live the Instagram life, but focus on building a genuine life of happiness, however, he could have done better by providing more examples of other individuals that choose to live a “real” life and their outcomes from their choice as well as a way to begin the change so the idea would not be terrifying or difficult.
Jealousy begins at an early age, children often sees another child with an object and instantly have a desire to want the same thing. As people become adults, the desire is still there, often times it is much stronger. Richards targets adults with successful careers, as he only uses two adult examples as an effort to persuade the reader. He is targeting those that are already successful but still have the desire to gain more and more from their life to fulfill an endless pit of what they think will make them happy. However, Richards does not give examples of those that are not wealthy or successful.
Do they also feel envious of others or are they happy in their current state? The problem is that everyone has an envy bug inside them. It is hard to not want what others have. The lower and middle class families want what the rich have. The rich typically want more than what they already have. The author is assuming that all individuals that are successful are also not truly happy, thus seeking more to become happy. He focuses on the desire to have more or not having enough. He leads us to believe that money is the number one cause of our envious thinking.
He writes, “And nowhere does envy raise its ugly head more often than with money. ” With the use of inductive logos, Richards uses two primary examples: a former investor and a model. Both explain how their lives were filled with a constant jealousy of others around them. The investor was a wealthy man who was upset that his bonus was only 3. 6 million dollars. He was upset because he knew others received more than he did. The bonus was not enough to make him happy because he was jealous that others received more than he did. The model he also refers to suffered a different form of jealousy.
Richards believed her jealousy stemmed from how others around her did not worry about their looks as often as she did. She suffered from insecurities. He talks little of himself and his feelings, i. e. his happiness or lack of it. He does discuss his desires to live away from where he is due to the high amount of competiveness through sports and the feeling of being overwhelmed with it. He uses these examples to show how living an Instagram life will lead to being unhappy. He is trying to persuade the reader to stop bring envious of others.
When the reader does this, he or she will be able to be truly happy. However, he does not go into further detail about how changing our view of life will turn out or how does the reader overcome this internal battle of jealousy. Though, he does mention how the trader quit his job and found happiness without the desires and jealousies and wanting more, it still leaves the reader with the question of how. How did he do it? Furthermore, it appears that the model did not quit her job and he only comments on her insecurities. He does not give any further detail to this model’s life.
This also leaves the reader wondering how a person can overcome that battle. Richards only answer is that it is a personal decision to make. This still leaves the reader to think how one should begin the transition. The reader may agree that getting rid of the envy bug would be the best decision to make, but it is not an easy transition, which eventually leads the reader to shy away from making the change. If the author offered ways to make the transition easier, he may be more successful at persuading the reader to begin the journey of changing.