• Paul Gordon

Their opinion doesn't pay your bills

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

If we spent more time on our Spenditude than chasing "likes", could we move towards a more meaningful way of life?

In the book I am reading at the moment the main character thinks to himself "I have a good life. I'd like to see if I can help someone else have a good life". As I read it, I thought 'that is one person who is clear on both their Spenditude and their purpose'.  What a nice place to be in your mind.  Wouldn't it be great if more of us were so enlightened - but this is a fictional character. Before the era of social media and phones being an extra appendage to our arms, a boss of mine joked that I would go to the opening of an envelope.  For what it's worth, I think he was right.  I was travelling and living overseas and had a sense that I wanted to make the most of every moment.  However, it was well before the term FOMO (fear of missing out) became something commonly used in memes and on social media platforms.  At that time, Facebook didn't exist (I'm showing my age now!) and my FOMO was driven mainly by a feeling that something fun could be going on, and I wanted to be part of it.    Now, social media has more currency when it comes to FOMO.  Influencers, friends, celebrities are more visible than ever.  The world has changed, and we have more access to compare.  And compare we do.  At all times of day we can see what our 'friends' are doing - where they are eating, what they are buying and how much fun they are having.  We want to 'keep up'.   FOMO is not only real, but it impacts our choices, financial decisions, spenditude. The character in my book doesn't look at others and want his life to be like theirs.  More recently I have noticed more of this in both life and social media.  Instead of the fear of missing out, we are joyful. The age of social media seems to be shifting ever so slightly - we are cutting off social networks, emails and technology to find time to be true to ourselves.  People are taking tech breaks and announcing social media detox.  Despite having a near constant view into other peoples lives, some of us are finding more JOMO than FOMO.  Following your inner self, your passions, those things that bring you joy can be hard while having a constant view into other peoples lives.  The balance between the human condition - to want to improve your lot in life, and the desire to avoid allowing others to shape the way we feel is hard to find.  If you feel that it is hard to cut yourself off from technology and social media, then acknowledging the impact it has on your Spenditude is a good place to start.  Shifting the things that you 'follow' towards things that are more realistic, adding some mindfulness or savings content to your feed can help. At the end of the day it is critical to remember that other people's opinions of you won't pay your bills.  So hunting likes and approval from your network is unlikely to help you improve your Spendiitude.

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