the futility of “keeping up with the e-joneses”

[“It’s Complicated”. You can buy the print here etc.]

So somehow or other you found yourself online in a big way.

Somehow or other you decided, like millions of other people, that if the future is online, it would be silly not to join in. So you decide to get with the program.

And so you get yourself hooked up with the usual stuff… a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and whatever Robert Scoble is using that week. And then wait for that aforementioned future thing to start happening.

While you’re waiting for that future thing to begin, you can’t help noticing that certain people in the same field as you- people far more successful and well-known than you, people who you aspire to be like one day- have fifty times the amount of Twitter followers as you do. Or whatever.

So you spend the next two years of your life trying to get as many Twitter followers as those people. Not only do you fail, meanwhile, your wife leaves you, your car is repossessed, and you have to move back in with your parents.

The futility of “Keeping up with the e-Joneses”. You’re better off spending that time and energy trying to have a “smarter conversation”. Of course you are.

[Bonus link:] Seth has a few thoughts on the subject, as well. Well worth a look.


  1. So true…
    You have hit the nail RIGHT on the head…
    Alas, only if they could ‘get it’…
    Most people dont get it…
    Its about YOU, not about anyone else…
    Thanks for sharing this,Hugh.
    God bless you, always.
    PS: I liked “Remember Who You Are”

  2. Very true. Do what makes sense organically to you and if it doesn’t result in being a megaphone then maybe your niche isn’t in being a megaphone

  3. Firas, people like to assume assume that the “Megaphone” doesn’t work.

    Yet sometimes it does…

  4. I agree with having the ‘smarter conversation’ part.

    It matters more to carve your niche for yourself, than doing what others are doing.

    What makes you different are the efforts you take to not ‘keep up with the e-joneses’. It’s easy to keep up with them. Much difficult to be different.

    It’s better to be different.

  5. Pentru a avea succes la sexul opus, spune-i ca esti impotent. Va face tot posibilul sa iti demonstreze contrariul. Cary Grant

Speak Your Mind


Are you ready to work with us?

Get More Info


Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark