Our generation has grown up in the height of social media, with the good and the bad. Social media has made it easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family. However, studies have shown that social media could be changing our spending patterns.
How many times do you get onto Facebook or Instagram and see pictures from trips and wish you had an upcoming getaway? How many adds do you see in a typical day of social media usage?
Companies realize that social media can be a huge advantage for their marketing. Not only with the direct Ads you see but also through people's actual posts. Influencers, actors, and models are all targeted by companies to try to get them to advertise their product. What some people don't always realize is that they get paid to promote these products and may not always be giving honest reviews. Social media platforms are starting to create rules for these types of posts that require disclosure if the post was sponsored.
Schwab's 2019 Modern Wealth Survey found that 49% of millennials reported spending money on certain things due to something they saw on social media.
Take a look at the accounts you follow and see if any of them do more "advertising" than others. Do they post a lot of pictures with certain products as the highlight? Do they always link the clothes they are wearing in the description? Some people just genuinely want to share a cool product that they love. However, you need to be cautious when it's coming from someone with a big social media following.
Before you buy something, take a couple of minutes and think about:
- If you really need or want that item?
- Can you afford it without sacrificing something else?
- Are there cheaper alternatives of the same quality?
Do your research! If you see something advertised and really want it or do actually need it that's okay! Just make sure there aren't cheaper alternatives just as good and make sure what you're buying is good quality for the price.
Does it spark Joy?
Taking some advice from the now famous KonMari expert, think hard about your purchases. Sometimes it's useful to think about it for a week. If by the end of the week you still think it's worth it to you to spend the money, then go for it! Our brains can convince us that we really need things, when in fact the product just looks cool so you start rationalizing how much you need or want it. I know I'm not the only one to buy something just for it to be used once and then sit in a corner, never to be touched again.
Check out the survey listed below for some more statistics and information on how social media is impacting our generation's spending!
2019 Modern Wealth Survey: