The Sunk Cost Fallacy And You

The Sunk Cost Fallacy And You

When holding on is more harmful than helpful, it's time to say goodbye.
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Like any Millennial with a phone and steady access to wifi, I spend a lot of time on the internet, and in my 19 years, I've read a lot of relationship advice blogs in an attempt to feel like I have my life together. One of these blogs is Captain Awkward. It was there that I discovered something called the "sunk cost fallacy."

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You're looking to clean out your closet. In it, you find a shirt you haven't worn in ten months. Man, this is awful, you think, why did I buy this? But you remember that you dropped $30 on this shirt, and so you reluctantly put it back in your closet with empty promises to wear it sometime, knowing in your deepest heart that that shirt is never coming out of that closet again.

Or, the most common question on aforementioned relationship advice blogs, which, with little variation, goes a bit like this: "My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time, but he doesn't respect me. He never contributes to household maintenance/plays video games all day/leaves broken glass on the kitchen floor because cleaning is a societal expectation he disagrees with/has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and I'm not happy in this relationship anymore. But we've been together so long and I love him. What can I do to fix myself so that he respects me?"

The answer is almost always "Sweetheart, you can't. This guy is an actual hornet's nest in human form. It's time to let go." Followed by many, many comments by the letter writer defending their significant other and insisting something can be done.

These are examples of the sunk cost fallacy. In economics, "sunk costs" refer to payments or investments which can never be recovered. Businesses try not to take sunk costs into account when considering the future of the business, because it's even more harmful, economically speaking, to continue sinking cash into something that's going to flop. But humans are actually biologically inclined to avoid losses at all costs, which creates situations like cluttered closets of clothes you'll never wear or, more seriously, domestic violence victims remaining with their abuser because they've already spent one or two or ten years of their lives with them and they don't want it to be "worthless."

Listen. We only have one life. The sunk cost is an attractive fallacy, but one that ultimately traps us in routines we hate because we fear that we've "wasted" our time. There's a reason why "better late than never" is such a ubiquitous saying. Why fight to be happy later when you can be happy now: namely, by dropping the sunk cost fallacy and changing your life tomorrow, or today?

I'm not advocating wastefulness here, but mindfulness of what will make you happy in the long run. Are you hesitating to change your college degree, even though you hate it because you already sunk a year into it? Go to the guidance office tomorrow and see what sort of options you have anyway. Your two-year relationship is making you unhappy and multiple attempts to work it out have failed? Get out of there and find some new opportunities for love. Do you have a shirt in the closet you've been dying to get rid of for the last six months? Make some room for that rockin' new sundress, girl! Goodwill all the way.

There are things in life worth fighting for, but there comes a time where hanging onto the old is getting in the way of our own future happiness. Beat the sunk cost fallacy, and learn how to say goodbye.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.
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Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Social Media Is Robbing Us Of Our Happiness

The age of technology has truly let us down.
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Starting off as an efficient way to communicate with loved ones or long-lost friends, I'm afraid that social media has transformed into a catalyst for the decrease in our total life satisfaction.

Social media became a prevalent way of communication around the time that I was turning 10 years old. The concept of having a "smart-phone" was just becoming mainstream and the idea that you could actually use the internet on such a small device was undiscovered to most.

Although I do remember a time without them, most of my life has involved the use of one of these platforms at one moment or another. Around the age of 15, I created my first profile on Instagram; and from there, my online presence continued to spread through to the endless amounts of media platforms that exist today. My adolescence and early adult life immediately became a comparison game against my acquaintances and/or complete strangers that I haven't, nor will ever meet in my lifetime; with the end goal being to see who could prove that they have the "best" life.

At such a vulnerable age, I was unknowingly being targeted by millions of advertisements and suggestions within these applications, informing me how to live a better life. Just do some more of "this" and a dash of "that", then you will finally be happy, they say. However, the cycle never really stops; and this is exactly what social media creators want. I was trying to live a life outside of my own and, in consequence, I was ignoring the one that I was given.

At birth, we inadvertently all have the same goal in mind concerning how we want to live. We simply just want to enjoy. Then, I ask, why do we subject ourselves to countless hours of scrolling through a device that brings absolutely no satisfaction and bears no fruit in our daily existence?

Despite society's constant reminders to accept oneself, we create altered personas of ourselves on the internet, in an attempt to attract the biggest impression. We have created a dichotomy on how to uphold oneself in the public sphere; you may be yourself in private, but must be able to transform online into a person that has zero flaws in fear that we would be perceived as being "socially inadequate".

I didn't need this pressure in my life, so I gave it up completely for a couple of months and rediscovered the joy in experiencing. I'm not saying that everyone should make this step, but rather I challenge everyone to look up from their phones and cherish the day. 'Cause, after all, we may never know what's around the corner.

Cover Image Credit: PEXELS

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