Look at his new Rolex watch! Look at her new handbag! Everyone compares one another on things they own, wear, eat, and much more. Especially with the times right now with everyone connected through the internet, it is hard to avoid. We are constantly on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube looking at our peers to evaluate how well we are doing in life. We decide our value based on attractiveness, wellbeing, and success as if it measures up against others.
Most of our decision making is influenced by what our friends and family spend and what you think of how they perceive us. Are your expenses really motivated by your actual needs or wants or are they trying to keep up with your peers? Many people spend money they have not earned to buy things they don’t really want just to impress the people they do not like. Do you really want it? Buying things that are not useful or have purpose collects dust and makes our money fly out the window just as well as our value. We know if it is the real achievements worth something or just a luxury purchase giving us worth.
Social media has conditioned us to show the best parts of your life. Have you ever bought something expensive so you can show it off to your friends or family but, you do not enjoy the item or experience as much? Is hearing their praise of, “Wow you made it!” or “Dang, you must be making good money to achieve that!” is its real reflection of your life, or is it a façade.
Those who regularly compare to improve themselves can be good, but it typically comes with a price when we use someone else’s life as a marker to determine our own worth. If you are using someone else’s life as a criterion of your own success, can you truly achieve it? We enjoy showing our successes but what we do not know is how they achieved it, how they sacrificed, or how long they came to it. You can lose out on what you can achieve in your own life. The grass is always greener where you water it.
The race to keep up with others can not only affect you financially but also mentally and the quality of your life. Many people decide to find multiple streams of income alongside their full-time job but it tires them out which makes this option unsustainable.
Lucas Zhang was a Finance major at Ohio State University. He writes about finance, mortgages, and technology for Irish Mortgage Brokers.