Is Social Media Making You Broke?
We have all been there, scrolling through Facebook, and you see that one of your Facebook friends just went on a luxurious vacation to an exotic place, another friend has a birthday, and their wonderful husband bought them roses, a Michael Kors purse, and Gucci sunglasses, and yet another Facebook friend just purchased a home.
Without a second thought, you open up a new browser window and start pricing out vacations, a new purse and even do some realtor.com browsing. Even if you really don’t plan on buying a home tomorrow, you were affected by the images and posts you saw, and they start invading your mind whether you realize it or not.
Ok so maybe your friends don’t have much going on, you still have Facebook Ads! Images of beautiful people, new beauty treatments and hot deals that will end tomorrow if you don’t buy today. You suddenly find yourself getting out your credit card to make a purchase without a second thought.
Oh and not to mention all the Facebook invites you may have pending. Birthday parties, baby showers and other events that you feel obligated to attend even though it would require you to buy a gift, buy a new outfit or even pay an entry fee in some cases.
You close Facebook, and you open Instagram only to see beautiful women with great bodies and flawless faces. You see Instagram models, makeup artists and fashion bloggers posting images of beautiful makeup, hair, and clothes. You start to look in the mirror and think I need a whole new wardrobe, a makeover, and a new fitness routine. You start to feel inferior and start thinking of all the things you should buy to improve your appearance.
You open up Pinterest, and you see a bunch of yummy gourmet recipes, fun crafts that you need to be doing with your kids and home renovations that make you suddenly think you need a new bedroom set or bathroom renovation even though you were fine with the one you had 5 minutes ago.
Why are we influenced so easily by these images?
After being bombarded with pictures and videos and getting excited by all the things you want to buy and new improvements you want to make to your home, you start to feel down. To make yourself feel better you go shopping, you get that quick high from the cute purse you just bought and the new throw pillows and area rug you purchased online that will arrive in a few days.
You feel great right?
But did you really need to make those purchases? How long is that high going to last? Until you see the next new thing someone purchased?
Would you feel this way if you never saw that Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest image?
Does owning a new designer purse, going on a nice vacation or driving a new car really make you that much happier? And for how long?
With all of these images being thrown at us everywhere we look, it’s almost impossible not to feel the effect.
Did you ever see the movie with Demi Moore & David Duchovny called “The Joneses” where people were hired to pretend to be a wealthy family?
This hired family would move into neighborhoods and have so many beautiful things and basically had to make friends, host parties and just show off all of their material possessions. It worked like a charm.
Their neighbors would see their new car and buy one themselves. They would see this perfect family and their beautiful clothes and buy some new clothes of their own. Without giving away the whole story, one of the neighbors goes broke trying to keep up with the Joneses. The company that hired this “fake family” were geniuses. They know how the human mind works. While this was a movie and somewhat exaggerated it’s not all that far from the truth and it actually gives you something to think about.
Do material things really make us happy?
When we are at the end of our lives are we really going to care what car we drove or if we had an expensive purse? Do we want to be judged by the things we have or would we rather be judged by the way we treat people?
Now don’t get me wrong, having nice things does not make us bad people but I want you to think about why you want the things you want and if you can actually afford them.
Would your friends think any less of you if you were the only one not wearing designer clothes? If they did, would you want them as friends anyway?
I want to propose a challenge. I want you to go on a spending freeze and stop looking on social media where you will be tempted to buy, whether you think you are feeling the effect of social media or not because sometimes you don’t even realize it. I did this experiment, and I realized I didn’t really miss anything, and for some reason, I felt a lot less stressed.
I wasn’t being bombarded with images or videos, so I was never even tempted and never felt like I was “missing out” on anything.
Will you take this challenge? What do you think of this article? I love to hear your thoughts so leave them in the comments below. Let me know if you are in on the challenge and if you ever thought about Social Media as a factor in your spending?