My Week Without Social Media


65 Comments
Social Media Fast

A couple weeks ago I was feeling frustrated with our budget. We stick to it almost by default, and it sticks to us. Our budget is a champ. Because of it, we’re able to put away about 25% of our gross income each month, not counting the money we use investing in retirement. Our budget allowed us to get out of debt a year and a half after we graduated. It has provided a way for us to live within our means, work harder to find deals, and pay cash for cars. Our budget is quite the hero. But lately I haven’t been feeling the love for our budget. I want it to loosen up a bit, not be so stiff and calculating. Don’t get me wrong; I like that it lets us save. But sometimes I wish it would also let me spend more.

And I’ve come to realize that I often feel this resentment toward our (freaking, yet wonderful) budget after seeing others’ things. We live in a world in which we’re constantly bombarded with picture-perfect glimpses of others’ lives. The new clothes. New haircut. New furniture. European vacation. Swanky hotel room. Fancy restaurant. You name it, we see it every day on social media. And I don’t know about you, but at times my reaction is, “Ooooh! Cool! I want that, too!” But then I remember that I have a budget. And while I might be able to have one of those things, I can’t have all of those things. And some months, when we have unexpected expenses, there’s not room for any of that stuff. And I get frustrated. And I start to compare my real life to all the humble-brag pictures on my Instagram or Facebook, which are very selective and not true to reality.

I know it’s completely shallow and short-sighted to feel this way, but I’m just being honest, putting my flaws out there. And so in an impulse a little over a week ago, I decided to stay off social media for a week. For me this meant Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I was tired of thinking about other people and their stuff. And I wanted to see if it helped our budget’s standing in my eyes if I kept those eyes focused only on my own life. The first couple days Johnny would ask, “Did you see [this or that]?” And I’d have to remind him that, “Noooo. I’m not looking at that stuff this week.” Aside from that, the week went by quickly. Sure, my fingers would occasionally want to press a social media app on my phone out of habit, but I stayed disciplined.

Comparison is the thief of joyAnd after a week, I found that I was more at peace with our budget. I hadn’t really wanted for anything the whole week. My focus was 100% on my little family. I had a few thoughts like, “Geez, these pants are super tight and kind of short on Baby Girl. I’m gonna have to get her some more clothes.” or “Seriously? My hair is a disaster.” and decided I needed a new haircut. But those items arose from a problem such as a fast-growing baby or not getting my hair cut since said baby’s arrival. They weren’t dictated by comparing my life to others’ lives.

So what did I learn? I learned to never get on social media again. Just kidding. Social media wasn’t the problem. It was my perspective. I learned that I need to be purposeful with my thinking. Rather than comparing, I need to just let people have their moment of humble bragging and enjoy my own life. Because I’ve got myself a dang good life. And a dang good budget. And sometimes, I like to contribute my own bit of “humble brags,” mostly in the form of our Baby Girl’s big cheeks. And while I probably won’t be going cold turkey anytime soon, I think I’ll probably get on social media a little less than I used to.

What peer pressures make you want to give your budget the boot? Does social media ever play a role in dictating your wants? Have any of you completely signed off any social media channels?

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65 Comments

  • Reply Roo // NEON FRESH May 13, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I totally get it. Of course, now I’m envious because we’re not putting 25% of our income into retirement….

    Haha.

    This is a poignant article: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/stop-instagramming-your-perfect-life

    Maybe you could just get Johnny to cut your hair?? Just kidding, don’t do that.

    Great post, Joanna! xo

    • Reply Johnny May 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      I’m down with haircutting. Is it trendy to do bangs around the entire head? Because I think I could cut that look.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:05 am

      I just want to add that I really loved that article, Roo! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Sabrina May 13, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I LOVE this article! There are defintely times I feel this way and since starting our tighter budget, so that we can become debt-free, I have noticed these feelings a bit more. We dont have quite the freedom we did before setting up the budget, and yes in the end, I know this is better, but sometimes I can’t help but just want it all. LOL!!!

    So many of us can relate to this post, so thank for sharing!

    • Reply Johnny May 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      The Debt Monster has a tendency of throwing temptations your way as soon as you hop on a path of slaying it. And while it seems like you have less freedom now, you’re getting more and more free every time you save a little more and pay down a little more debt. FREEEDDDOOOMMMM!!!! Sorry. Braveheart flashback.

  • Reply Pam May 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

    This is a great article! We all live on the plastic charge cards so much anymore that we drown ourselves in debt. My younger brother saves money every month like you do and because of that he can pay cash for everything and he will be able in a couple of months to pay cash for a new house. I think that is incredible. And social media has taken over our lives to the point that when we are with friends or family or when we should be just spending time enjoying the world around us, we have our phones or tablets in our hands typing away as I am doing right now. We are losing our ability to communicate with others and we are not taking the time to experience spirituality. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Reply Johnny May 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Woah! Kudos to your bro. That’s awesome.

      I can’t remember the last time we moved in somewhere and a neighbor came over to introduce themselves. And conversely when we’ve introduced ourselves. I’m sure there’s lots of factors at play, but if I had to point to one single reason, I’d point it at that Twitterbookgram.

  • Reply Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies May 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

    This weekend I went to a 2-year-old’s birthday party and had to wear make-up because of the number of pictures that get snapped and posted and tagged whenever I’m over there. I almost never wear makeup, so it’s a big change for me to do so and ironic that the little birthday boy could have cared less how I look as long as I’m willing to hang out and race cars on the floor with him and let him steal Doritos from my plate.

    • Reply Johnny May 14, 2013 at 12:00 am

      My anxiety of photos is already well-documented, so you can only imagine how I’d feel in your shoes with photo-happy parents.

      You’re nicer than me to let someone, even a child, steal Dorito’s of my plate.

  • Reply Mary May 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

    (Little back story) Two months ago the man and I moved into his parents house after living in our own apartment for two years. We thought we’d take advantage and save money. His sister came into my room one day and asks me how many pairs of shoes I own. Our closet door is always open so I replied, “Look behind you. Uh, maybe 8 or 10″ (this includes summer sandals, sneakers, boots, etc.) She then goes on to tell me that including all her flip flops and sandals, she has 70 pairs of foot wear.

    Of course it made me think that maybe I need more pairs of shoes. Maybe I should invest in more clothes, look nice all the time, etc. But then I snap back into reality and realize that it shouldn’t be about the clothes, and the shoes and that I should stop comparing myself to others. We have a car loan, student debt loan and now we’re saving for a second car.

    Sometimes when I try to pull out the plastic and make a splurge purchase, I remind myself “good things come to those who wait”. Those glasses, those shoes, those jeans may some day be mine but I’ll feel less guilty to not receive a credit card statement for them.

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:17 am

      Awesome comment. Thanks for sharing your story! Good things come to those who wait indeed. And like you said, it’s much better to get them later free from the chains of debt. It’s especially hard to enjoy those “things” when you’ve got the Debt Monster breathing down your back. So good for you two for keeping on.

  • Reply Halsy May 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

    This is such a great article. I definitely have found myself doing ALOT of comparison lately. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are evil when it comes to babies 1st Birthday. I see all these awesome parties and think WOW I want to do that for baby girl etc. I started to plan this big party then remembered oh yeah we are on a budget and $500 for a birthday party that she will not even remember is ridiculous. Ok, maybe my husband reminded me of this. So we decided to just keep the party to immediate family and have it at the house. I still was able to buy some cute decor and the we slashed the cost by 75% of what I wanted. It has been really hard but I just quit looking at Pinterest and am happy with what we decided. It also was hard when some friends who spend a lot more were telling me what they were getting their child for their first birthday and we only spent $50(our gift budget for us and her)on our baby. However, I think she will really like what we got her and will use it for a couple years. Mothers day was hard to because everyone posted pictures of amazing meals out and expensive jewelry, spa trips etc. It’s hard not to be jealous of that but after being jealous a few times I decided to think “wow, that is great for them and I hope they enjoyed it”. I was happy for my bama&ry initial necklace for $30 and a trip to cracker barrel for breakfast(my husband hates cracker barrel and it’s my favorite place so this was a big present from him)! I got to spend the day with baby girl and my Husband and that’s what is most important. I think it just takes an attitude adjustment for me sometimes and to realize happiness doesn’t come from things and money! Though that is hard for me to remember sometimes. Joanna, I hope you had a wonderful first mothers day!

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:24 am

      Cracker Barrel! We LOVE Cracker Barrel! Easy, cheap, Southern comfort food. I didn’t realize they did breakfast. That might be trouble.

      Within the last 9 months or so, we’ve had 4 or 5 friends that have had babies. It’s been really hard to try and block out the expensive strollers, clothes, trips across the country to visit family that some of our friends are fortunate to have. As if there aren’t enough changes and struggles with being a brand new parent, inviting comparison and envy into the equation is just toxic.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I won’t speak for Joanna on the quality of her first Mother’s Day, but I know she could get used to breakfast-in-bed every day instead of just one day a year. :)

  • Reply debtperception May 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Sure, social media plays a big role in dictating my wants…Pinterest MAJORLY, but despite wanting all those things, my frugal self, out of habit, knows I can’t afford them. So I put them on a wish list/board and hope one day to have those things but it doesn’t get me down knowing that I can’t have them right now.
    I spend entirely too much time on FB. I have a FB window open all day on my computer if I’m at home and can’t resist using the FB app on my phone if I’m out running errands. I seriously need to cut back on the amount of time I spend on there. I don’t need to scroll through my news feed to see what everyone has done in the past x amount of hours I missed being on FB. Maybe I should take a week off from FB too!

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:27 am

      I think that’s the perfect attitude with Pinterest. Just realize it’s a wish/lust board and leave it at that. And I’m with you on FB. I find that that’s my go to click when I don’t have anything to do. There’s plenty of other things in my life that are more deserving of that time.

  • Reply Jen May 13, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I completely agree, however, I don’t have any social media accounts, and it is mostly for this reason that I don’t sign up. I want to remember that when I am home I want to spend time with my daughter, because that is what truly matters. I also try to take all of the photos/blogs of others redecorating their houses every month for the entertainment value they are!

    My family is the important thing, and so is getting out of debt so that we can have the freedom to not be tied to our jobs, and live the lives we want. Making myself feel bad about what I don’t have isn’t going to get me closer to my familiy or our goals!

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Woah, awesome job on staying away from social media. I don’t think I could quit cold turkey right now, which is probably a bad sign. But that’s really amazing that you’ve stood your ground and haven’t caved. And your points and reasoning is excellent. I think everyone could benefit by viewing our time through the lens you just described.

  • Reply Rachel May 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I need to do this! I find it hard to be a blogger and stay away from social media just for the promotion, but I know that it’s easy to compare yourself to others just by logging on to Twitter for 5 seconds.

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

      Believe you me, all the while Joanna was off-the-grid, I was posting for the blog and reading up a storm on social media. :) And I may or may not have pretended like I was reading really interesting stuff that she was missing out on (“No way! Too bad you’re not on Facebook this week…”). The sad joke was on me though when I realized there really wasn’t anything interesting.

  • Reply Budget and the Beach May 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I’ve been there, especially because I have a lot of friends who travel. When I first started going through my serious budget overhaul I had to even “hide” certain friends from my news feed so I didn’t feel crappy about myself. I’ve since developed a pretty decent perspective about the whole thing and know it’s just an image and everyone puts their best foot forward on Facebook and twitter…hell I even do it. I hardly go out but when I do I sure as hell check in so people know I have somewhat of a life and friends. lol! And then there is the satisfaction when people “like” the activity. “ooh people are happy for me!” As long as you don’t get true validation from that you’re OK…but if you do you’re in trouble.

    Sometimes our vulnerability is just a bit lower than normal and you have a hard time finding perspective, and it sounds like that was a moment for you and you did the right thing.

    I swear there could be a whole branch of psychology which studied JUST social media and its affect on us.

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Haha. I loved your social media play-by-play. I was laughing, but inside I was crying at the sad truth.

      I can’t even imagine how messed up societal norms with relationships and talking in person might be in 20 years. I don’t know if we even realize what the ramifications might be. But I’d venture they won’t be all that positive. I’ve already seen in my own life my reservations with making a :30 second phone call to someone when I can just as easily send an email or text message. Even if that takes 5 minutes longer.

  • Reply Lauren May 13, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for writing this Joanna! I love your blog for reasons just like this post. You guys are helping to keep my husband and I on track with our new super savings plan. We’ve always been decent at saving, not in any big debt, but now were committed to really working hard to build up our savings for things like our next house, emergency fund, renovating our condo without going into debt, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to stay on track for the exact reasons you just wrote about. But knowing there are other people out ther like us who share the same priorities makes it a little easier to walk by the Target shoe section without buying anything :) “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no ones else”, right?

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

      Don’t get Joanna started on the Target shoe section. It’s probably for the best she didn’t respond to comments tonight. :) But that’s what we love about doing this blog — finding budget-minded folks that are trying their best to be good stewards of their money. Folks who want to “live like no one else.”

      Thanks for your comment. And hooray for the super savings plan! Congrats!

  • Reply Stefanie May 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

    LOVE this post! I’ve often thought about disappearing from social media for a while- if only to protect my own ego. I see so many wonderful things happening for people and it gets me down in the dumps, even when I know I’m doing well. You’re right, it’s all about maintaining perspective.

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:43 am

      If I don’t check into my different social media accounts at least once a day, I feel like I’m missing out on things. The sad reality is by checking into those sites, I’m likely actually missing out on things in my OWN life. I don’t necessarily feel like all social media is a bad thing, but like you said, maintaining perspective and doing it moderation is key.

  • Reply Michelle's Finance Journal May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I went through this after I got married. Looking at other people who got married around the same time buying houses and cars made me upset at what we don’t have in our lives. I got over it. But I do think it’s good to give you treats sometimes.

    • Reply Johnny May 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

      We had the same post-marriage social media blues. “So-and-so bought a house. And the so-and-so’s just got a brand new truck.” Cool. Not. Little did we realize at the time that all those people were doing it with money they didn’t have. So we’re fortunate we didn’t act on our impulses to follow their lead.

  • Reply Karie May 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Everyone has a little envy of everyone. Some single people may be envious of you for being married, married people with kids may have some envy of someone single and carefree traveling the world; someone married but can`t have kids may be envious of your little baby even while posting pictures of their shiny new luxury car and someone else is wishing they didn`t have a minivan but instead a luxury sports car. I always press like and post positive comments on everyone`s braggy posts – whether it`s about accomplishments, purchases, whatever. People post things because they`re so proud of them. I also agree it`s about attitude. I was thinking about an exotic vacation for our family but then I started looking for similar landscape and experiences in my own country and found tons of them. Expensive trips aren`t in the budget right now but I feel happy to read about people exposing their kids to different experiences and cultures and I try to replicate the parts I like in my own way. When I was younger I was thrilled to buy a car or house, now I think of them as another thing I have to maintain!

    • Reply Joanna May 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      You have the perfect attitude, Karie! It’s true that there’s always something to be envious of. And instead we should just be happy for others. Thanks for the great perspective!

  • Reply Chris May 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t do much comparison through social media. I do sometimes think about how I always feel like I don’t have any money…even though I do since I save 39% of my net income. Looking at that not even number actually makes me think I should just bump it up to 40%…OCD in me. I see some of my friends spend so much money, but I then realize it’s because they aren’t putting anything away whatsoever.

    Social media is seriously just a giant case of FOMO for me. I realized this the other day when I was logging in to Facebook for the fifth time to see if anybody said anything interesting…they didn’t…they never do.

    I guess you have to really ask yourself what do you use social media for? If you use it to increase traffic on your blog then I think it’s justified, but if you use it to procrastinate, kill time, be jealous, brag…maybe taking a break is just what the doctor ordered.

    • Reply Joanna May 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I agree… 40% is much more pleasing in every way. Do it.

      After a week of going without, I can honestly tell you that I didn’t miss out on anything. And even if I had, I would have eventually found out. It was really nice going a week without knowing what people made for dinner or how their workouts went!

  • Reply Brian May 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I have made it this far in life without social media… why start now? People know to get ahold of me you have to call or text me or if you are really desperate Facebook my wife. I guess the good news is, much like heated seats in a car, you can’t miss it if you never had it.

    • Reply Joanna May 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Awesome, Brian. Don’t start because it is pretty addicting. The article Roo @ Neon Fresh linked to in her comment really validates what you said. It encourages more email, texting, phone calls, etc., and less of the pointless social media stuff. So keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Reply Jake Erickson May 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I think your experience is very common and I have to agree with you. Social media can be great, but it also can be a huge waste of time. One thing I always have to remind myself is that there will always be someone out there with bigger and better things while making more money than me. I just have to be comfortable with where I’m at and remember how good I have it.

    • Reply Joanna May 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      You’re right, Jake! It’s all about perspective and attitude!

  • Reply Susan K May 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    You are so right that exposure to new stuff just makes us want MORE. I am a social media phobe (although here I am commenting on a blog!) – no facebook, no twitter, etc. It makes it easier to keep to myself, not gossip, not be exposed to all the nonsense that’s in the world (moral and otherwise), and helps me be more selective in what I allow into our home. I also think our children deserve our full attention!

    I just read this article last week: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/10/tech/web/paul-miller-internet-year I love the observation in the third to last paragraph: “So instead of using the Internet as a utility to make your life richer and be less interrupted, it’s interrupting your life more to make the Internet richer with all the stuff from your life.”

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. It’s inspiring to hear that you are striving for satisfaction with what is.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:15 am

      Thanks for sharing that article, Susan! I loved reading it. It was kind of mind blowing to read how much not having the Internet changed that guy. I agree that we’ve got to just be able to unplug sometimes and give full attention to our lives (and especially our children!).

  • Reply Ashley May 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been feeling like this a lot lately! Especially since I discovered Instagram a few months ago. Anyway, thank you for posting this! It’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling like this, and you’ve given me some inspiration to take my time spent on social media down a few notches!

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:18 am

      I swear Instagram is the ultimate culprit in making others’ lives seem perfect. When I start feeling any of the feelings I mentioned, it’s my cue to unplug from it for a bit!

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt Roundup May 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Damn you social media!! I know what you mean about social media being a driver in wanting more crap. There are times when I have to get away, but I also just need to shut down my computer and do other things. I don’t want to see the new stuff coming out because I really don’t want to buy it, but my emotions are strong.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Agreed. Think of all the free advertising companies get nowadays from people posting their new toys on social media. It’s more compelling than commercials!

  • Reply Rob May 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Good for you, Joanna, for having the discipline to do without the “social media wants” and stay within your “dang good budget” ! :-)

    As I say, everything in moderation. By all means, go out and get your hair done. Going this long, you deserve to treat yourself and feel good about yourself. Same goes for your little one as she quickly grows out of things. But again you know about ways to “stretch” a buck on baby clothes!

    As for us, being old fart retirees, living long before “social media” came along, we don’t miss it a bit. Sure, other kinds of peer pressure (from family or friends) may have some impact but, like yourself, it just takes willpower and discipline, without going crazy and living like a beggar.

    On a related note, however, and speaking of haircuts, no I would never attempt to cut my wife’s hair but ever since we first got married she has always cut mine, along with our kids’ hair (until they eventually left home for university). It saved a few gazillion coins over the years and the results always looked pretty good ! :-)

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:24 am

      It’s nice that you know how to live a life without social media, Rob. Johnny and I grew up without it, and it started entering our lives during our college days, so we can remember a life without it, too. But I think about my own children! They’ll never know a life without it. We’ll have to be really careful in making sure they are unplugged sometimes.

      My mom always cut my dad’s, and all my siblings’ hair, and my hair growing up. I wish I’d inherited that ability from her, but I did not. I can use a buzzer, but don’t give me a pair of scissors! :)

      • Reply Rob May 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        Aw go for it, Joanna! I’d love to see a pic of Johnny with a marine buzz cut! :-)

  • Reply Mindy C May 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    An honest and highly relevant post, Joanna, the lure to want more pretty things happens to everyone.

    There is always a chance that we have to move from our current residence, so whenever I see something I want I ask myself if I also want to pack another dress/bag/shoes if we move. This attributes the reason for not making a purchase to a potential move in the future and moves the focus away from the budget. It has worked pretty well so far!

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:28 am

      That’s awesome you’ve found a way to resist extra spending, Mindy! That’s a great idea to have something other than your budget that keeps you from wanting to spend money. I think everyone could benefit from your method!

  • Reply Jesort415 May 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I’m really struggling with this too. I look at the cash in our bank account and think I could buy almost any materialistic thing I “want” right now but then I remember what I really want is to be financially secure. It’s so good to see I am not alone, thank you for writing this. I am making a conscience effort to appreciate what I have and not what I don’t.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:31 am

      You’re definitely not alone! I love reading comments like yours and seeing that I’m not alone, too, so thanks! It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a budget, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

  • Reply Cait May 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I stayed off Twitter this past weekend, partially for the same reason. In general, I just feel like I’ve been spending too much time online and not enough time with the people in my life. I’m reading less, working out less, etc. and for what? Nothing, really. But, as you said, it’s also easy to slip into the pattern of seeing what others have or what others are doing and wishing you could have or do those same things. Last year, I logged off Facebook for a good 8-10 months. Before, I was spending a lot of time on FB chatting with schoolmates about how much we hated an assignment or were pissed at our profs… and the minute I couldn’t see what people were complaining about, I actually really liked everything about school! If I wasn’t responsible for some Facebook pages through work, I think I’d deactivate my account again. Life was pretty good, back then.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

      I hear ya, Cait. I think it’s really beneficial to take a step back and ask if certain social media is adding to your life or taking away from it. That’s awesome you’ve disconnected and seen a positive difference. While it’s not all bad, I do think taking little breaks periodically is a really good idea!

  • Reply taylor May 14, 2013 at 7:54 am

    i have deleted my facebook account in the past, only to reactivate it for various reasons. recently i contemplated deleting it for good. i wanted to declutter my life of all unnecessary things. but i have friends from different seasons in my life, and i really wanted to still be able to connect with all of them. so i decided to drastically decrease my friends list – thinking i could keep it to a more intimate circle of 50 or less – and i ended up deleting about 600 friends. i wasn’t able to get the number as low as i wanted. right now i have only the friends that i really feel like keeping up with, and i am determined to keep that number under 150. so while i did it for slightly different reasons, you could definitely do something like this too!

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:46 am

      That’s a great idea, Taylor. A few weeks ago every time I got on Facebook, I kept seeing these depressing updates from people I barely knew anymore. I didn’t want to know those details about those people’s lives, ya know? Like you said, it should be more of a way to just keep in touch with those you hold near and dear… I think your method is a smart one!

  • Reply Gaynor May 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Greetings from the UK!

    I have a wonderful friend, kind, funny, very giving of her time, great mum & wife and filthy stinking rich. I try not to compare, I couldn’t begin to (well not on the money side anyway 😉 I hope the family thinks so too). I just need to remember to be thankful for what we have, lovely kids, love for each other, warm home & enough money so I don’t need to work. I wish everyone could be so lucky.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:49 am

      That’s a great perspective, Gaynor. I think we all know people who seem to have it all. And maybe they do, but we should just be focused on what we have. If we all took a few minutes a day to remember to be thankful, like you said, I think we’d all be much happier.

      Good to hear from someone from across the pond! :)

  • Reply Catherine May 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I love this post. I relate 100% and have been looking for the words to say exactly what you just did. Though it really bothers me, it bothers my husband more. He gets much more frustrated by our debt than I do and is easily annoyed when he sees our friends going on vacations/eating out etc while we have a tight budget that doesn’t allow it which in turn makes me feel bad since almost all of our debt is mine. He doesn’t say things to bother me but I can’t help it. I want all of those things too and sometimes for no reason other than I see it but we simply can’t right now but in a few years our budget will be much better when our debt is finally paid off and we can make our money work for us.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:56 am

      Johnny and I were in a similar boat just a short time ago. Almost all our debt was mine, and I felt a lot of guilt because of it. But working together to get out of debt definitely brought us closer.

      Even after writing this post, Johnny and I still have moments when we want things that others have. And like some other commenters have said, in those moments, we just have to take a moment to be thankful for what we do have!

  • Reply Elvin @ Journey To Millions May 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    This happened to us too that’s why we left facebook. We tend to compare ourselves with other people’s highlight reel with our behind-the-scenes which is very, very frustrating for some. Also, ditching facebook away gives us more productive time to enrich ourselves with other stuffs, such as studying in coursera, writing blog posts and commenting on blogs. :)

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 1:57 am

      It sounds like you have the right perspective, Elvin. You described it perfectly. We only have one life, and it’s really not worth wasting it on Facebook!

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls May 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    So I have a twitter account. I follow people. People follow me. I tweet when contests tell me to, but otherwise I have no idea how to use it. Zero interest to learn. I don’t do Instagram (before I could join, Facebook bought them). I have a love hate relationship with FB. I like seeing my friends and family on there (considering I’m at least 900 miles from almost everyone I care about). I love sharing my kids pictures and the hysterical things they say. I also follow all my favorite PF blogs on there. HOWEVER, I hate what it has become. I feel like all the changes they have made in order to turn profits for their shareholders have taken away the community feeling.

    I have never thought of Pinterest as a social network. Maybe bc I don’t interact with people directly on it. While I do enjoy surfing on there, I have always looked at it as a place for inspiration. I have photos of beautiful houses, but not bc I want them. It’s bc I love the architecture or the landscaping. I just see it as beautiful. I get amazing recipes, that have helped improve my cooking skills, brought some variety to our meals and showed me things to make with inexpensive ingredients, often found in the pantry. The only thing I can truly say I have COVETED due to Pinterest is wanting to learn to sew!

    The problem with FB is it seems to have attached itself to everything I use! Games, money earning apps like jingit and ibotta and plink. That stinks!

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 2:13 am

      I agree with what you said about FB… there is less of a community feeling now and it really is attached to everything! So true.

      And I feel the same as you with Pinterest, too! I have gotten so many great recipes from there. And I love getting decorating inspiration, too. So, yeah, I wouldn’t put Pinterest into the social media category, either!

  • Reply Emily May 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    That is how I found your blog! I deactivated my FB from November to March. For me it wasn’t so much the comparison, but more just the time suck. Why do I care who just ran 4 miles or what someone just ate for dinner? Now I just keep up with peeps and news I care about and spend more time reading, actually doing projects around the house instead of just pinning them, and food prep for healthy meals and snacking! Great post and a good reminder for all of us to enjoy our blessings.

    • Reply Joanna May 16, 2013 at 2:01 am

      I think the same stuff when I read status updates, Emily! I really gain nothing from Facebook, aside from time wasted, like you said.

      Way to go on making a change and spending more time doing stuff instead of just reading about it online. I think we could all take a page out of your book! :)

  • Reply Lindsay May 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

    What are your thoughts on window shopping? Better than actually spending money, for sure, but I still try to avoid doing it because I always end up feeling a little down and insecure. I find myself wondering- should I be caring more about clothes, makeup, shoes and decor? Once I get OUT of the mall, it’s easy to remind myself- no, I’m perfectly happy with my priorities and what I own.

    Social media, in my eyes, is like window shopping different lifestyles. In the same way that store window shopping makes you second-guess your posessions, social media makes you review/doubt/critique your current place in life.

    • Reply Joanna May 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

      That’s a really good comparison, Lindsay. I’ve never thought about it that way, but you’re right, — the feelings I get from both activities tend to be the same!

      Johnny and I recently went to the mall, and it was soo hard to leave without buying something. And it’s because of that mentality you get sucked into, thinking you should have all these nice things you’re seeing. Luckily, we managed to get out of there with our budget still in place! :)

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