25: FOMO, SOS & The Joneses OH MY
Welcome to episode 25 of Permission to be Messy. I'm your host, JoAnn Krall. And today I'm talking about FOMO, shiny object syndrome and keeping up with the Joneses.
I imagine that most of you listening, know what FOMO stands for, but just in case it's fear of missing out and I'm sure many of you have heard of shiny object syndrome.
And of course keeping up with the Joneses. That's what our term was for pretty much all of this back in the day.
And what all three of these have in common. Usually is our need to feel like we belong or that we fit in or that we're keeping up our social status or that we just don't want to miss out on events or new shiny, IPhones things like that.
And this is all natural. We as human beings, we want to feel like we belong. We don't want to feel like we're being left behind. but the issue comes in when it starts to cause us mental stress, financial strain and sometimes addictions too, whether it be shopping or grabbing new social media platforms.
Which, by the way, this is all inspired by Meta just released the Threads app and based on seeing how many people have joined the app in just seven days over a hundred million people. That's insane.
When I was a kid. We driving home from my grandmother's house in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
My grandmother did not live in an affluent area, but to get from her house to my house, we would drive through a very affluent area with big gorgeous ginormous mansions with huge lawns. And there was one house that I would always admire on the way home. And one day I said to my father, I really want to live in a house like that one day.
Those people must be rich. And he looked at me and he said,
You never know how much money people have. Based on their belongings. He said those people could be in a lot of debt. And just because they have that home doesn't mean that they have money. And that was such a profound thing that I remember, I want to say I was maybe eight eight years old when he told me that.
My dad was the millionaire next door. We lived in a tiny Cape Cod house. I mean on a 5,000 square foot lot. Three bedrooms, but three very tiny bedrooms. One bath, not one and a half baths, but one bath. And that's where we lived my entire years of growing up. Now, I never wanted for anything in life. My parents were very generous with me. They didn't spoil me, but if I needed something, I had it. And we would go on modest vacations. We never went to Disney. we would go to New Hampshire. We would go down to the Cape
And I remember once going on a really big vacation on a plane, out to Colorado, to visit family. But again, it wasn't an extravagant trip. It was a fun trip, but it wasn't extravagant. So I always had that in the back of my mind that we must not have everything that these people with these big houses have. And I learned later in life that we had it. My dad was investing in real estate long before anybody was ever flipping houses And, he could take a house, buy it, paint the shutters, and flip it for a really nice profit. And this was back when the mortgage rates were 18%. So he had to do it fast. So he was working a modest job working for the MBTA in Boston. He was a, he was a blue collar worker. But he was doing real estate on the side and he was practical and he never tried to keep up with the Joneses. And he was very frugal and, it paid off in life.
If you've ever read the millionaire next door that's my dad.
He was always reading books. Always educating himself In fact, I remember reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad the first time and I thought my dad could have written this book.
Now when I moved out, I could've gone several different ways. I could have stayed with his extremely frugal ways. I could have gone extravagant and really wanted to make up for all I was missing out with a big home and a nice car. And all of the stuff going on, all extravagant vacations. and I could've gone somewhere in between which is what I did. I did go on nice vacations. Cause that was important to me. I wasn't trying to keep up with anything, but I had always wanted to do that. But my husband and I also bought a foreclosed upon condo and we flipped it. And then when we bought our I'm using air quotes here forever home. We bought a modest home. We didn't buy a big giant mansion. I got one and a half baths, so I've upgraded in life.
I've always driven practical cars. And so it's a balance for me.
Now as far as strategies to overcome this. I've read things where to be mindful, be self aware, set priorities, and values, build resilience, by practicing gratitude It's all great advice, but it is not easy because the pull from the need to belong or the need to fill that void with new things.
It's just really strong. So if you're struggling with finances because of, trying to keep up with the Joneses or having that shiny object syndrome where you need to purchase all the new softwares or all the new tech gadgets. or all the new clothes. you're just filling your spaces up with things.
Then you really, really need to sit downand be honest with yourself each time you go to make a purchase,
One term I hear a lot is the joy of missing out. Replacing the fear of missing out with the joy of missing out. I love this. I love this little shift of thinking about things.
And while I love the concept of the joy of missing out, we can't even hop onto Facebook without seeing all the amazing vacations that people are taking. And the wonderful relationships that they're in and all the new things that they've purchased or, showing their beautiful homes.
And even events that they've gone to, people, I went to this party and I did this. And if you think back to before social media, We didn't even see half of that stuff on a daily basis. So We're fighting against a rising tide.
It's not easy. So if you have any strategies, that have helped you,stay away from shiny object syndrome. I would love for you to share that with me, because I would love to share that with my listeners. I'd like to gather a list of actual things that people have done, not just the.
the overall concepts that people are saying, just change your mindset or, build resilience and think of your values. That's all wonderful advice, but it isn't easy.
If all of this stuff. Is affecting your mental health and your financial health. I want to be able to give some guidelines.
I know that when I'm working with somebody, one-on-one, I can typically help them, work through where they can cut back and how they can gradually let go of this. this need to keep up. But, giving general advice , isn't easy. So share with me, please, please, please share with me. My contact information is always in the show notes.
There's multiple ways to reach me. But if you have something, if you have a really great tip, something that's really helped you something practical. I would love that because I definitely want to do another. episode. that, that shares all of those.
So the thing I will leave you with today, though, is to remember that when you are on social media The people are just showing you their highlights. They're showing you the good stuff. Does it mean that everything is sunshine and roses in their world, it could be. But, not many people show the downside and, and when we're looking at like physical stuff of what people have the vacations they're going on, maybe the beautiful homes they live in.
Just like my father said, we don't know, we don't know how much debt they're in. They could have mounds and mounds of debt. So, if that helps, helps you in the, in, in some way, like it helped eight year old me.
then that makes me happy.
I'm still working on my new sign-off. So I will say I'm wishing you much purpose peace and progress and of course the permission to be messy. Thanks for listening.