Keeping Up with the Joneses

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StephanieWhen I hear the cliché “Keeping up the Joneses,” I picture the 1950s - white picket fences, perfectly manicured lawns, beautifully dressed housewives, and a shiny new Chevy parked in the driveway. Call it “Leave It to Beaver.” Comparisons in the 1950s equated to your house, your car, your children, and your job.

Has anything changed?

I actually would say yes. Keeping up with the Joneses 21st century style has gotten to be slightly out of control, in my opinion. Our list has grown substantially larger. With the dawning of the digital age, we are able to see into people’s lives so instead of only seeing what’s on the outside of the home, like in the 1950s, we now can read the play-by-play via facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. At any given moment, we can know what our friends are doing, saying, eating, buying, and the list goes on!

Don’t get me wrong, this can be a really good thing. Staying connected to the people you love is important. Skyping with someone half-way around the world is gift for someone who is away from home. Seeing your grandchildren grow up on facebook is priceless. I see a lot of value in.

I do think there’s an element that can be harmful and we don’t typically talk about it. For me personally, I know that this can breed discontentedness. In the past I’ve struggled with this even though I have a really good life - probably a life that many people would want. Call me Mrs. Jones. Yet discontent can knock at my door very quickly. Maybe I’m just sensitive in this area or maybe I’m not alone.

So, what do you do?

I actually had to swear off a lot of my “social” time on the computer. When I noticed a change in my attitude or my mood, I had to get a grip and log off. I encourage you to do the same. Reflect on your mood when you are on facebook poking through pages. I think we have become desensitized to it slightly. That was true for me.

I also had to ask myself why I’m posting what I’m posting. Am I trying to get a reaction out of something for selfish reasons? Am I trying to put only my best foot forward? Essentially, am I trying to show off? Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should do it? We aren’t in middle school anymore. (Sigh. Hallelujah!) I found when I reflected on those questions, I changed a lot of how I was using Social Media.

Take time to reflect on how the digital age motivates and maneuvers your life. Think about what you want the world to know about you. And take inventory of your mood while you gander through the facebook pages of your friends. Make this your New Year resolution. Actually, don’t…no one keeps those, unless they lie about it on facebook LOL!

Written by: Stephanie TeSlaa excels at using both the right and left sides of her brain, and that’s exactly what makes her so special. Stephanie calls Hudsonville home, and is a lover of numbers and also a talented photographer.

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