Facebook takes “keeping up with the Joneses” to a whole new level

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is now at a whole new level thanks to Facebook

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

This about all we needed in this age where we should be returning to being content with what we have rather than buying new just to keep up with those next door or, now, even people further afield.

Do your friends’ Facebook and Twitter pages make you feel inferior?

One in five Facebook and Twitter users admit they now constantly compare themselves to others based purely on the status updates, pictures and messages from their ‘friends’ on social media sites.

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is now a high-tech affair, with the constant stream of pictures and status updates of holidays, purchases, weddings, babies, new homes and other boasts leading to the rest of us questioning our own lifestyles.

While these comparisons are hugely affecting the younger generation, with more than half of 16-24 year olds admitting they spend much of their time trying to measure up to the lives lived by others on Facebook, the phenomenon is not purely reserved for the young.

A third of social media users between the ages of 25 and 44 admit they do it too, while more than one in ten 45-54 year olds do the same.

Whilst one in five of us are increasingly spending more time in our own homes, the current economic climate has prevented a quarter of people from making those all-important home improvements that their house needs or that they may want to make.

Dr. Sandra Scott, a psychological consultant, said: “The rise of social networking means there are so many more ‘Joneses’ to keep up with in today’s society. We are all sharing more information about our lives with more people and can end up comparing ourselves to lifestyles projected by others through social media.

“We all have a tendency, to varying degrees, to be concerned about how other people view us and this can lead us to compare our lifestyles unfavorably to others who appear more affluent. The key is to keep perspective and to focus on the positives of who we are, and what we do have.”

Almost 30% of people say they feel envious of friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors who have more than them, over 40% say they don’t like to think they’re missing out, while one in seven say they feel stressed about trying to keep up with others.

The need to feel as though we’re having as much fun, and living a life which is just as exciting as our friends and families could be having a financial impact for some of us. Only 30% say that the current economic environment has made them feel less pressure to measure up to the lives of others.

The most desired items for Britain’s to invest in this year to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ include:
1: Holiday
2: New Kitchen or Bedroom
3: New Car
4: Conservatory / loft conversion
5: New Bathroom

As I said before, this is about all that we needed, NOT. We need to rediscover being happy with what we have and making what we have last. It can be done. I do it all the time.

There are more important things in like than keeping up with others as to possessions and such like; much more. And we also must consider the Planet and the fact that we live on a finite one and that there is no such thing as sustainable growth.

Sustainable growth is a myth that is being perpetuated by the powers that be who want us to buy more and more so that there can be more and more economic growth. But we cannot grow more than what the Planet, our Earth, can support, be it in numbers of people or in products and all that jazz.

Time to rethink and stop the game of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

© 2012