Keeping up with the Joneses. What does that mean anyways?
Wiki says this:
"the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social caste or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating social-economic or cultural inferiority."
Phrases.com says this:
"Strive to match one's neighbors in spending and social standing."
10 years ago...even 5 or 6 years ago, your neighbors were those with whom you had direct contact with on a day to day basis. People you worked with, people you lived near, people you went to church with, friends, family, etc. However, today your "neighbors" (the Joneses) can be anybody on the planet. Thanks to the internet, mainly social media, we are bombarded with "the Joneses" in ways we never imagined.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Keek, Path...and the list goes on.
We consume ourselves with social media. We feel the need to post every move we make so the world can see. Pictures posted within seconds, tweets tweeted as soon as an event occurs. We sleep, eat and breath social media. Sometimes literally.
Let me be the first to say I found myself buried deep in the pit of this chaos. My thoughts were often status updates on Facebook, I snapped pictures of my kids' every adorable move to post to Instagram. I never got in to the rest of the stuff, but mainly because my addiction was consumed enough with what I already had.
Sadly enough, I was checking fb at 2am when I would wake briefly to put MissPriss's paci back in her mouth. I was waking 1st thing in the morning to see if anything had happened since that 2am fix. I had my phone by my side 24/7 looking at it constantly. I was looking at other people's profiles and finding myself subconsciously (and a lot of times consciously) rejoicing in other's failures, and being angry or jealous at their successes. It's very humbling to even admit to some of this stuff.
It wasn't until TheHubs & I were talking one night about why I had begun a spiral of depression that I realized and vocally stated what I felt was the culprit. Nope, it wasn't post-partum-depression (which was what he had initially blamed it on)...it was social media consuming me.
It was me trying to "keep up with the Joneses". I was jealous at the moms who were taking their kids to the park everyday, or the wives getting to have a lunch date with their husbands. I was jealous at the flowers and beautiful gifts ladies got on Valentine's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and "just because". But at the same time, I was laughing at divorces that were taking place and "stalking" others to find out the gossip of who was having an affair with whom. And smirking at such sin, such filth taking place.
I was consumed. Big time.
I felt like I wasn't good enough if I didn't take EJ on a walk everyday, or have good fruits and vegetables for him to eat everyday. (And unless popcorn chicken and chips count, then I'm a big fat failure on those standards.)
I felt angry about having to work weekends instead of getting to spend it with my family like everybody else.
I dreaded each holiday as I knew everybody would post wonderful pictures of all they were getting to do, when I knew me and Thehubs were just lucky to see each other or be off work together.
My emotions could go from good to bad with just one post by someone...
As TheHubs and I talked that night, he agreed that I was consumed. So after I said that I probably need to "quit", he quickly agreed. So we got the lap top, sat on our bed and I ever so slowly "deactivated" my account. No warnings for my friends...no big announcement or anything. I just did it. Because I knew if I didn't do it then, then I never would. Even as we were in the process, I was making up excuses for why I shouldn't. Wondering what I would spend my time doing now, or how I would know what's going on in the world.
But I (we) did it.
Yep, I've been "sober" from Facebook for almost a week and it's actually been quite nice. I haven't asked TheHubs, but I hope he would say my depression tendencies and sour attitude has diminished. I am no longer having stuff thrown in my face to be jealous at.
After all, who puts the dirt and grime of their lives for the world to see anyways??
I will say I've chosen to keep my Instagram. I feel like I have more control over that, and plan to dwindle it down to only close friends and family who I follow and who follow me. Simply to keep up with our lives a little better.
Freedom. Exhilaration. Relief.
So now the hard part of staying focused- keeping my eyes on Jesus and being consumed by Him each day begins.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. "
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."