I had not heard the phrase keeping up with the Jones’ for years , but recently a family member joked about it and I wondered if people really still felt that way ?! I know that social media has really opened up our ability to see into other peoples lives in a way that we have not been able to previously , I know this has really heightened peoples awareness to what they have in there own lives and there was a time when people bought everything they saw someone use , things they saw in their homes and basically were really dragging themselves down emotionally when they realised that they may never have that lifestyle ( No matter how unrealistic that life was ! ) but I really think that we have moved on from that time or am I deluded ? I really want to believe that with the huge focus we now have on mental health , self care and the huge push away from irresponsible shopping that we may have seen the light and that we realise that where we are and what we have is perfect for us and our families ? I have made the choice to only consume inspirational , happy and down to earth content , people who live the same sort of life that I do , who have aspirations , goals and generally are a positive influence , I have consciously unfollowed people who have 8 holidays a year and think that €900 for coat is A ok , I mean if that is your jam then fine , life style and money is all relative but I would rather watch people who are happy with a walk in the forest rather than constantly shopping , holidaying or being negative .
I do really believe that we all need something to aspire to but if we focus to much on what others have then we are not being present in our own lives and that really makes me sad ! I have met people whose first line in a conversation is ” oh why can’t I have that Range Rover , life isn’t fair ” My reaction to that was but your alive , have family & friends who love you and a car that gets you to work , stuff shouldn’t define you and constantly wanting to have what others have will never end as it is a constant circle , of wanting , getting and wanting again . I think the Celtic Tiger boom and bust showed us that so many people in Ireland nearly went bankrupt trying to live the lives they saw others have , it also showed us that the people whose lives we all tried to mirror were in fact very very fake , their flashy cars were borrowed and their mansions were in effect owned by the bank , so we tried to get a fairy tale life that didn’t even exist in the 1st place .
So I am really curious to know , do you think we , as a society , still try and keep up with others lifestyles ? Do we covet what we do not have ? I put the question out there on my Insta Stories today and there was a very mixed bag of answers although the majority of answers were nope , not a hope we absolutely don’t feel that way ( Which is GREAT !!! ) , worryingly there were a few people who admitted that they do still try and match what others have and generally they feel this pressure from online more than in real life , which personally I find very interesting .I really hope that we can all do more work and create more awareness around happiness over consumerism , show people that you do not need to live your life in the same way others do and to just be content with how you are now ! I try and teach my kids this from a young age with the hope that as they grow older they know that they do not have to keep up with any one nor match any one else’s lifestyle and that they are enough and their lives are enough !