MYOB (Mind Your Own Business)

Or …  the intersection between economics and philosophy.

Opportunity cost is a core term in the field of economics. And everyone, whether they know it or not, has done opportunity cost analysis. Probably every day, more likely numerous times every day. In my opinion, probably not very well most of the time. And I include myself in that.

Opportunity cost is about the fact that if you spend your time or money on one thing, then that has cost you the opportunity of spending your time or your money on anything else. For example, when I spend an hour and 30 minutes watching an Agatha Christie murder mystery on Amazon Prime, that is 90 minutes that I will not ever be able to spend doing anything else, be it reading a good book, or sleeping, or studying. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the time spent watching the TV show was totally wasted. After all, I did get enjoyment out of it. And I usually only watch when I don't have the energy for any more brain work ... But once that time is gone, it’s gone forever. And when it comes to money, that should be also be clear. If I spend $1000 on a watch, that is $1000 less that I have that I could invest in something else, for example a financial instrument that could maybe generate more money for me in the future. But instead, I bought a depreciating asset. So, my opportunity cost is whatever I could’ve spent the thousand dollars on other than the watch.

Now that I have set up the back story, I would like to talk about philosophy, minding your own business, and the opportunity cost of social networking.

Social media being what it is, I wonder how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of hours have been wasted (opportunity cost) by people who follow what Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, some rap star (name whatever useless celebrity you choose), or even their own friends, are doing on social networking rather than paying attention to their own lives.

And in this case, I have to say, that following what a celebrity does or doesn’t do … Well. If anybody can explain to me how that constitutes a valid use of anyone’s time, I’d be happy to listen. Or not.

I’m not trying to say that social media is completely useless, although I consider it very close to that. What I am saying is that in general, people should examine closely how much time they literally piss away on social media doing the endless scroll. Another aspect of this is that you are in fact being some company’s product whenever you are doing that.

The reason I didn’t include people like Donald Trump is because he is, after all, a political figure. And the things that he does can affect everybody’s lives, unfortunately. But, and I find myself in this quandary even now, one has to not spend too much time following what politicians do either, especially ones like Trump. He is after all, playing to an audience, just like he was when on reality TV. And you can’t afford to waste a lot of time on that. You should remain aware of what he’s doing without, at the same time, getting wrapped up in all of the drama he makes it his full-time job to create.

So MYOB and look after your own life and be productive. Short thought for the day on opportunity cost. 😊