Do We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful? Envy in Educational Technology
Abstract: Envy occurs when a person wants something another person has, whether it is material or perceived success. These feelings have been studied extensively in philosophy and psychology but underestimated in academic environments. Envy arises due to academia’s nature and the demand for research outputs, competition for funding, and opportunities for promotion. Envy can benefit educational institutions in moderate doses, as it can positively affect self-regulation and motivation. However, in most cases it negatively impacts relationships, impedes communication, makes teamwork less effective, and affects wellbeing. Different factors enable and exacerbate envy in academic settings, for instance, social comparisons, mental health issues, ethnic prejudice, bullying, or microaggressions. When envy occurs in the workplace, colleagues do not speak to each other with respect and consideration. This negative feeling can affect academics and lead to mental health issues which undermine performance. This paper discusses the impact of these emotions on early career academics in educational technology. Culturally safe practices, reflection and consideration for others, and personal and professional performance are critical factors in preventing envy. The author presents strategies to help academics overcome envy and promote a safe work environment.