Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays again. Today is just a short post about “The Social Media Joneses“.
The Social Media Joneses?
I don’t really use facebook or instagram or social media all that much. I don’t even really keep up with twitter that much anymore. However, I just want to remind everyone that what people show on social media is usually not real life. The “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is exacerbated by social media:
- The Smiths just went on a trip to Europe.
- The Joneses just bought a new car.
- The Browns just got courtside seats to the Lakers game.
Just remember that it’s human nature to share things that you’re happy about or proud of. In general, people don’t share too much about their hardships. For this reason, there is definitely an altered view of reality that social media creates. Of course, this is nothing new and has been described many times. However, I think it’s important to step back and realize that first of all the idea of “Keeping up with the Joneses” is not a good mentality. Secondly, it’s impossible to keep up with the social media Joneses.
Whereas before “The Joneses” were more of a local-oriented phenomenon, like the Smiths across the street got a new car or the Jones down the street just went to Europe. Nowadays, the social media Joneses are basically everyone in the world. Our minds still want to do all these things like take a trip to Europe, get a fancy new car, or courtside seats to the Lakers — however, things like facebook and instagram bombard us with these “other people, who are just like me” doing these things. You create this imaginary person who does all these things, which if of course impossible to keep up with. This is good for consumerism and making people buy stuff they don’t need, and put things on their credit card to pay off later.
The ideas of YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are very, very real. Don’t fall into the trap. Be happy with what you have, and if you really want something, then go ahead and work toward it. Don’t just rush out and buy a new car because the Smiths just got one or rush out and book a trip to Europe because the Joneses just came back from theirs.
You’re not them.
Exercise your own Value Cost Ratio. Remember that Money Isn’t Real and find what you truly value. Take some time to think about on this year of things you bought that you really don’t make us of, or the money you’ve spent that you didn’t get any real value out of. Although in general I value experiences over things, not all experiences provide the same value.
For example, let’s say you planned out a family trip to go Disney World or something which you planned to the best of your ability. You took the deals where you could get them but then splurged on the things you really wanted. The whole family had a great time and in general it was a great trip.
In contradistinction, let’s say you were just browsing Facebook and The Smiths just came back from their trip to Europe. They went to London, Rome, and Madrid and had a great time. Their pictures told the story of how much fun they had. So you say, ya know what, we can do Europe too! So you throw together a plan to hit Europe over a 3 day weekend. Most of the trip you spend jetlagged and right when you start to feel a little better, it’s time to go back home — with work the next day. You essentially got nothing out of this “Europe Trip” and got to experience very little of it. This is an example of doing something because someone else did it, not because you really wanted to. Don’t fall into that trap.
Social Media is not Reality — no matter how much your brain wants to think it is. Just remember that.
Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.
Also, it’s impossible to Keep up with the Social Media Joneses.
Don’t fall into that trap — do things you want to do, not just because someone else did it.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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