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The Social Clock | Dr Jan Weiner, Ph.D.

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    by Dr. Jan Weiner, Ph. D .

    “ I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. ” – The White Rabbit

    How bởi vì we determine the appropriate age phệ start dating, get married, have kids, và / or retire ? Bernice Neugarten ( 1976 ) suggested that human beings use a ‘ social clock ’ bự define the cultural norms và expected social behaviors throughout the lifespan. Differing from biological clocks that have a neural origin, social clocks are largely determined by the culture in which we live. Neugarten proposed that we internalize our culture’s social clock & use it béo compare with our peers in order Khủng determine our position in the ‘ expected life cycle ’ ( Greene, 2003 ) .​One essential trait for the survival of the human species is the need béo belong bự a nhóm. Acceptance from the nhóm ensures greater access mập safety & resources, whereas rejection from the nhóm can lead phệ an increased risk of danger & threats phệ survival. As an adaptive strategy, our brains may have evolved the ability bự compare with other nhóm members in order bự protect us from being ‘ left behind ’ ( Harris, 2007 ). Thus, human brain may be hard-wired bự worry about questions lượt thích : “ Am I doing the right thing ? Am I contributing enough ? Am I as good as everyone else ? Am I in the same place in life as others my age ? How bởi I measure up Khủng others in, love, career, money, children, grandchildren, the amount of stuff I have, & the amount of fun I’m having ? ”​Some people live ‘ on-the-clock, ’ meaning they cơn sốt all of life’s major transitions at socially appropriate thời gian points. However, others may experience one or more deviations from the social clock at some point in their lives ( Neugarten, 1976 ). Both expected & unexpected life events can result in a person going ‘ off-the-clock ’ for any length of thời gian, ie., breakups, divorces, challenges with fertility, life-threatening illnesses, becoming a caretaker of an ailing parent, spouse, or child, or even obtaining higher education degrees lượt thích, J.D.s, M.D.s, và Ph. D.s.​Being ‘ on ’ or ‘ off ’ giây phút can have psychological effects. Individuals who keep pace with the social clock may receive a certain cấp độ of acceptance và engagement within the workings of society, whereas, those who đơ behind, or choose bự ignore the clock completely, are at risk of being ostracized from where they fit within the established norms of a society. Feeling “ off-time ” may also heighten one’s cấp độ of anxiety, depression, or negatively impact self-esteem .Moreover, the advent of social truyền thông, including : Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, & Reality TV, greatly increases our availability và access Khủng additional comparisons with friends, acquaintances, celebrities, & public figures. Never before in history could we press a button và see what Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z, và Prince Harry are doing in their daily lives .​Social truyền thông can act as a glaring reminder of your position on the social clock. Easy accessibility bự social truyền thông also increases the likelihood that you will encounter others who : have done more than you, possess more than you, make more money than you, are having a better vacation than you, have already started families before you. In a recent study, Buxmann and Krasnova ( 2013 ) demonstrated that end 33 % of Facebook users reported feeling unhappy during their usage & that envying Facebook friends was cited as the major reason for their unhappiness. Another study by Chou và Edge ( 2012 ) found that the more hours spent on Facebook is positively correlated with believing that others are happier than you. Thes e comparisons may reinforce the negatives feelings of being ‘ off the clock. ’

    How béo cope with being / feeling ‘ Off the Clock ’ .

    • First, realize that you are not alone, many people experience their own clock struggles .
    • Being ” off of the clock ” does not equal failure. There is no such thing as ‘ the right or wrong thời gian. ’ Falling in love at 70, having your first relationship at 30, going back bự school as a grandma can be the right phút giây for you .
    • Try bự limit / stop comparing mập others. Instead, try lớn focus on your own goals .
    • Do not make decisions based on timing. Timing-based decisions often correct themselves in another chapter of life ( getting married / having kids can lead Khủng divorce / struggle later in life ) .
    • Being on giây phút doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. Many on-timers have their own life struggles .
    • Take a break or limit the amount of thời gian you spend on social truyền thông .
    • Grow your social tư vấn. Face-to-face interactions with friends can ease clock struggles và lower the likelihood of believing that others are happier ( Chou và Edge, 2012 ) .

    “ Some people are old at 18 & young at 90 … thời gian is a concept that humans created. ”- Yoko Ono​​

    Works Cited​Buxmann, Phường, và Krasnova, H. ( 2013 ). Envy on Facebook : A Hidden Threat béo Users ’ Life Satisfaction. 11 th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik .Chou, H. G., Edge, N. ( 2012 ). They Are Happier và Having Better Lives than I Am : The Impact of Using Facebook on Perception toward Others ’ Lives. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, và Social Networking .

    Greene, Sheila. ( 2003 ). The Psychological Development of Girls và Women : Rethinking Change in Time. London : Routeledge .Harris, Russ. ( 2007 ) The Happiness Trap. How Khủng stop struggling & start living. Boston : Trumpeter Books .

    Neugarten, B. ( 1976 ). Adaptation và the life cycle. Counseling Psychologist, 6, 16-20 .Schlossberg, Nancy. Ed. D. ( 2011 ). Happiness Relates phệ Whether You Are “ Off-Time, ” “ On-Time, ” “ Out of Time. ” In Transitions Through Life. Published trực tuyến on Psychology Today, 11/26/2011 .

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