Is social media keeping you broke and depressed?

Is social media keeping you broke and depressed? I remember growing up in the townships. Everyone knew everybody else. Everyone knew how many possessions you owned, and how expensive and how good those possessions were.

This one house didn't look like the rest of the houses from our street. It was white with perfect paving and big windows and a beautiful gate. The man of the house ran a funeral parlour.They owned a Mercedes Benz at a time when Black people didn't know they could drive. The kids went to private schools. And they never greeted people and most times kept to themselves. The furthest I ever was in their house is their kitchen door. I remember seeing the electric stove when we were using a coal stove. They even had a microwave before it was a norm.

Somehow this odd family was the standard that we all subconsciously measured ourselves with. Never mind that they were not friendly. We wanted what they had. I know I wanted to be like their kids and attend private schools and be driven in a Mercedes Benz.

One day when I went to visit my mom at home and she told me that the father passed on and the family was struggling. She knew this because the mom was now "humble" enough to greet people now in the community. Life!

Even today, it still seems that everyone is playing the old “keeping up with the Joneses” game. We're all still keeping up with the Joneses, but just doing it different. I remember how on Facebook when people were trying to "show off" and there was always a comeback from "friends."For someone some will "check in" at OR Tambo International and people will be commenting underneath on why they are not checking in at the Spaza shop. I think Facebook kept a lot of people humble and calm.
Today, Facebook doesn't seem so pressurising compared to Instagram. I go through my friend's feeds, and it's just jokes, thoughts, quotes and a picture here and there. Nothing hectic. On the hand, Instagram has become a digital game of keeping up with the Joneses. But unlike Facebook, Instagram is impersonal. Everyone can comment on your feed. I guess that's the reason most people with a large following ignore the comments. It is a lot. What tells you though that the post is a favourite is the likes. Instagram feeds on the likes. It's very visual and most times I don't even read the post if I like the picture. I just click like without reading to be honest.

Have you noticed how Instagram feeds has become a digital game of keeping up with the Joneses. It is a place where people keep raising the bar in terms of the quality of what they post.

So let's talk about the Joneses. These are those people that keep us glued to the other side of their lives on Instagram. They lives seems perfect and you can see this from their posts. Even when logic tells you that nobody can have this perfect life, those pictures are really convincing. And while we are looking at their pictures, we subconsciously measure our own financial success against theirs.
I like to think I'm generally a content person. I've managed to follow my dreams and live the life I want. But there are days when I can wake up feeling content and excited in the morning and then by the time I get through my Instagram feed for the day I like I'm two steps behind everyone else. I know it's silly to worry about this but hey I'm only human. 

Don't allow financial shame to hurt your future

I run my own social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to try to inspire people to save, budget and invest and offer others a voice. My social media sites are quite different from my personal pages which I've been neglecting. In the professional pages, I feel like social media can be used for good and positive things. I try to start conversations about personal finances on Facebook, and I share some of our favourite quotes and articles.

Is social media keeping you broke and depressed?

But it can be a challenging road to balance. I don't have any evidence to back this up, but I feel that more and more people are in this much debt and feeling really depressed about their lives because of social media.We have an onslaught of the "good life, all day, every day" streaming through our lives each day. On Instagram, everyone has perfect friends, with perfect bodies and perfect houses. Women and men take selfies (only at the right angle with the right lighting) to post their perfectly rich lives with their perfect friends for everyone to see.I've always wandered what the point of it is.
I remember, Nzinga sharing on Twitter that she tried to teach her mom about Instagram and when her mother saw it, said to her, "so it's basically people boosting."That is so true. However way you want to look at it. Instagram is the bragging platform. I mean why do we all feel the need to keep documenting every single moment of our lives for complete strangers to see? Although I have to say I find the most of the travel post completely inspiring, calming and never disheartening.

I completely understand when celebrities us social media to give us a glimpse of being behind the scenes. I've seen more and more international celebs, mostly the famous ones, toning it down. There is still a mystery about them. The wannabees are exhausting.
The Joneses are BROKE. 

Will Rogers once said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”

Remember how friends used to tell us about their latest vacation? They would invite us over for drinks, and then pull out their photos and show off a bit. It wasn't consuming. We all wanted to travel but we didn't want it so bad that we stopped our lives for it.

Today, all your friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many more will now know you are in the front row of Adele's concert or a TEDx conference, or that you are thrilled because someone bought you flowers. And these people generally fall into your those whose opinion you are most interested in.

Thanks to social media we are keeping up with the Joneses 24/7.We check our social media throughout the day - when we get up and when we go to bed, on the toilet, while we are driving in the office. As we do that, we are more likely to end up feeling anxious and depressed, about our lives. We never feel that we are doing enough of conferences, and concerts or even meeting with the right people — like all the people on Instagram.

In the past we went about our everyday lives, seeing a mix of both the rich and poor and we prayed we didn't end up at the bottom of the pile. But today, social media has a lot of the "you can look but you can't touch lifestyles of the rich."This constant bombardment leaves us feeling that we are always at bottom of the pile looking up.

However, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few years of adulthood, it’s that the Joneses are broke. Their lives are not so perfect. In fact, life for every person on earth is not a flawless timeline of perfect meet ups, weekend trips and weddings at spectacular venues. And if you stop to think about it, you know it isn't. Whatever you see posted, it is just a slice of their life, not their whole life. No matter how good things look on the outside, we all face the same struggles and insecurities as the next person.

Give your attention to what you truly want in 2018

Even if they seem to have no financial care in the world, I promise you they are not rolling in money. Like most people they are swimming in debt due to trying to keep up with a lifestyle they can’t afford. I’m not saying every person who seems to have it all is secretly drowning in debt. I’m trying to show you that people who treat possessions as status symbols rarely take the time to carefully save or invest because they’re always spending their money on the latest things.

We all know that social media isn't going away, but managing it properly can make for a more comfortable and less depressing experience. Don’t let yourself feel inadequate or inferior to someone else just because of what it appears they have. Keep your eyes on your own goals and remind yourself why you maintain the lifestyle that you do.

I am very interested in hearing what you think about this. Is social media keeping you broke and depressed?

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