Keeping up with the Joneses': Comparing ourselves to our Facebook friends now at a whole new level
More than half of 16-24-year-olds admit they spend much of
their time trying to measure up to the lives lived by others on Facebook
– while more than one in ten 45-54-year-olds do the sameOne in seven say they feel stressed about trying to keep up with others
14:39 GMT, 23 July 2012
Everyone is guilty of having a quick flick through their Facebook friend's holiday snaps from time to time.
But according to a new study, the common idiom 'Keeping up with the Joneses'', which refers to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social caste, has been taken to a whole new level thanks to social media.
To fail to 'Keep up with the Joneses” is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority and now it has been revealed that one in five Facebook and Twitter users admit they now constantly compare themselves to others based purely on the status updates, pictures and messages from their ‘friends’ on social media sites.
More than half of 16-24 year olds admit they spend much of their time trying to measure up to the lives lived by others on Facebook – while more than one in ten 45-54 year olds do the same
The latest study by personal loans provider savviloans.co.uk, shows that ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is now a high-tech affair, with the constant stream of pictures and status updates of holidays, purchases, weddings, babies, new homes and other boasts leading to the rest of us questioning our own lifestyles.
While these comparisons are hugely affecting the younger generation, with more than half of 16-24 year olds admitting they spend much of their time trying to measure up to the lives lived by others on Facebook, the phenomenon is not purely reserved for the young.
A third of social media users between the ages of 25 and 44 admit they do it too, while more than one in ten 45-54 year olds do the same.
The savviloans.co.uk survey carried out by Opinion Matters, also revealed that whilst one in five of us are increasingly spending more time in our own homes, the current economic climate has prevented a quarter of people from making those all-important home improvements that their house needs.
Dr Sandra Scott, psychological Consultant: 'The rise of social networking means there are so many more “Joneses” to keep up with in today’s society.
One of the most desired items people crave to keep up with their friends is a new car
'We are all sharing more information about our lives with more people and can end up comparing ourselves to lifestyles projected by others through social media.
'We all have a tendency, to varying degrees, to be concerned about how other people view us and this can lead us to compare our lifestyles unfavourably to others who appear more affluent.
'The key is to keep perspective and to focus on the positives of who we are, and what we do have.”
Almost 30% of people say they feel envious of friends, family members, colleagues and neighbours who have more than them, over 40% say they don’t like to think they’re missing out, while one in seven say they feel stressed about trying to keep up with others.
The need to feel as though we’re having as much fun, and living a life which is just as exciting as our friends and families could have a financial impact for some careless spenders.
Only 30% say that the current economic environment has made them feel less pressure to measure up to the lives of others.
The most desired items for Britain’s to invest in this year to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ include:
New Kitchen or Bedroom
Conservatory / loft conversion