Define: Keeping Up With the Joneses

Have you heard about the Joneses? Do you try to keep up with them?

Who are they?

The Joneses represents success in a society – a benchmark. They can be a neighbor, extended family member, friend, or community member.

Oftentimes people try to compete or “keep up” with them consciously or sub-consciously to feel good about their own success.

Example:

You have a ten year old car. It gets you from point A to point B just fine. However, you notice your neighbor buys a new car. It’s the latest make and model. He prominently displays it in his driveway and you can’t stop from wondering how he can afford it. You feel like you are on par with your neighbor’s socioeconomic status and believe if he can afford a new car so can you. The following weekend you head to the car dealership and buy a similar car. The payments are a stretch since you are not used to paying a car payment, but feel like you deserve it. You are keeping up with the Joneses.

 

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