Why do people have such a strong desire to fit in? To just stay a part of the “norm”? My great-grandfather used to say “the world would be a pretty boring place if everyone was the same”, and I could not agree anymore with him. Yet, as a society, we strive to equal up to our friends and neighbors, educationally, materialistically, in relationships, and so on, regardless of the cost. By trying to keep up with everyone else, we start to lose sight of ourselves, who we are, what we want to accomplish, what our own thoughts on something really are.
The term “keeping up with the Joneses, has been used for almost a century and originates from a comic that was released in the early 1900’s. The Joneses were not depicted to be anyone in particular in the comic, they were representing the “neighbors”. After World War 2 ended in the U.S., and citizens began to have a surplus vs. a ration of materials, this term exploded! People were buying things their neighbors had simply because they could. This started a way of life that we still cling to today, but unfortunately the problem has gotten even more out of hand.
How many times have you or someone you know went out and bought a new cell phone just because the new series was out, even though your old phone worked perfectly fine. Maybe it was a 60” t.v., just because a 52” was no longer big enough. How many times were these purchases made on credit? These purchases that people make to “keep-up” do not just put them deeper into financial despair, it is also mentally taxing as well.
With the rise in technology, it is even easier to see what your friends are doing or getting. We are not just pulled out of our lives by t.v. shows and movies anymore, it happens right on our Social Media feeds, from people that we know. We are comparing ourselves, our size, our lives, our materials and more CONSTANTLY! Wondering why someone has something (or some experience) we do not, how they stayed so slim, how they parried that person, etc.
It is a nonstop constant barrage through your brain. So much unnecessary, life dulling information that takes away from you loving and embracing yourself. Takes hours from your day that you could be getting in tune with yourself, your wants, and your needs , hours that you could be fully present. Frequently creeping and relentlessly comparing will not create the life you want, you have to do that! Our society desparately needs unplugged, undistracted time with ourselves, and our loved ones, not more stuff.
Learning who you are will help you to grow and flourish in more ways than you ever dreamed possible. It will help you to recognize the barriers that you have built to hide your “weaknesses”, so that you can grow into these areas too. Be original, think freely, research things that interest you, learn to be yourself and to love yourself. In our modern society, I truly believe that people don’t need better stuff, they need be better people.