the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: envy

Jealousy and Envy in the Blogosphere

There are two types of people, each with a different take on the importance of culture vs. the individual.

There are those who focus on the wonderful fact that anyone who works hard enough can succeed, and others who say that a culture of inequality exists, where class, color, and gender create obstacles to success.

There are those who say that social problems such as anorexia or obesity is the fault of the individual’s weakness, and others who point their finger at a powerful consumer culture that plays off of our insecurities and weaknesses.

This same tension of thought plays online, particularly in reference to jealousy and envy in the blogosphere.

I see the same post written every other week — a prominent blogger telling others that they must overcome the jealousy and envy that is destroying the community.  In private, I hear a different story.  I hear about a LACK of  community, one in which each of us now uses every conceivable PR and advertising technique in the book to position themselves as unique, intentionally playing off the envy and jealousies of others for personal gain.

And yes, this includes anyone who seriously touts their Klout score on Twitter.  Did you read about this in the New York Times?  Do we want a world where a person can get room upgrades in hotels because of who he follows on Twitter?

Fact:  People are going to get jealous if you use methodology that evokes jealousy.  Jealousy is not new; it has been around since Cain and Abel.

So, let’s make a final decision.  Is every personal ill a matter of individual choice or does the culture help foster the problem?   Is McDonald’s partly accountable for obesity in America?  Should advertisers be more aware of how their unrealistic views of body image hurt women?  If we say yes, then what happens when WE finally become the media doing the selling to each other?

Rather than telling others, “Don’t be jealous,” we should ask ourselves, “Why do we try so hard to make others feel jealous of us?”



Sophia and I went to a party in Malibu, where we met this woman who was telling us how her husband had just bought his seventh car. Sophia asked if he traded in his car every year, thinking that he was on his seventh car since moving to Los Angeles. No — this was his SEVENTH CAR.   I felt a little uncomfortable the rest of the night as they talked about real estate and their trip to Norway.  You didn’t have to be a psychic to know that the four of us probably wouldn’t be hanging out too much together, simply because of the differences in wealth.

We’re not poor, but we’re not rich, and for some reason, I’ve always noticed that it is difficult to hang out in social circles where others are very richer or poorer than you, just because your lifestyles tend to be different. This is something none of us dare talk about — that money can separate us more than color or religion or age.

Yesterday, I made fun of the categories that the blogosphere puts us in — mommybloggers, etc. But if all the mommybloggers met in a room together, they would less separate into groups of color or age than groups based on income, where the wealthy group would chat about the hippest new stroller and getting their child into the “right” pre-school while the middle-class group would complain about health care.

That’s just life.

I don’t begrudge the guy from Malibu for having his seven cars. It’s actually pretty cool, and I’m sure he worked hard to get where he is. Even though I felt a little insecure talking with him, I can’t say that he was “better” than me. After all, I run a successful blog and he doesn’t. Still, it made me sad to think that our friendship had barriers to it based on money. Growing up, I understood the importance of money in enjoying life, but I never quite realized how much of a role it has in determining your social interactions. Is this just a Los Angeles/New York thing?

As I read your blogs, I notice that some of you go on exotic vacations seemingly every week. Some of you are working two jobs, although I suspect most bloggers are doing well enough to waste their time… uh, blogging.. I find it all interesting. I love that ONLINE there is freedom to walk in different social circles. I’m hoping that race, religion, etc. is never a factor in online friendship.

But, let’s be honest, do you think differences in MONEY would hinder many of us from becoming friends in real life?

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The Mommyblogger Strikes Back


My mommyblogger parody was pretty funny a few days ago, wasn’t it? Sure put those mommybloggers in their place! I’m one funny guy.

OK, maybe not as funny as Dave at Blogography. He is terrific. And his illustrations are amazing. If you haven’t been to his blog, you need to check it out. I’m even wearing one of his cool t-shirts. So, I’m not surprised that his blog was ranked as the #1 humor blog by BlogLaughs, one of the best websites that reviews humor sites.

Hey, I’m in for a good laugh today. Since I already read Dave, let’s see who is at #2?


Hmmm. Some blog named Dooce. Dooce?! What?! The #2 funniest site on the blogosphere is the mommyblogger Dooce?!

Jesus Christ! Is there anything this woman can’t do? I thought I was joking about her running the internet! How much money IS she getting through advertising?

If she wins the Presidential Medal of Honor this year, I’m quitting blogging.

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