As much as we might not want to admit it, we live in the age of social media in our every-day lives. Whether we use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, to learn, to gather information, or even for work situations, social media is part of the everyday jargon to which we’ve become accustomed. Which means that social media marketing is also alive and well and continuously looking to dig into your life too. Just how does social media affect spending habits, and what can you do to be sure that you’re not falling into the trap that puts you into oppressive debt?
Keeping Up With The Global Joneses
Sure, it is wonderful to be able to share the grandkids with your parents on Facebook or keep in touch with friends who have different life directions. It’s even fun to find out what you’d be doing if you grew up in the 14th century or what traits people think of most when they think of you with all the quizzes that you see your friends post. It’s sort of hard to not get caught up in ‘engaging’ with friends and family (and strangers alike) all over the world.
But there’s the problem. In this day and age of social media immersion, we are aware of so much more than we ever were before. Before social media, we might be tempted to consider a new car because our neighbor just got one and we drooled every time we saw it. But now, social media lets us see what car every one of our friends all over the world are driving, and even the vehicles social influencers are driving too. We can (and do) check out what the latest influencers on Snapchat and Insta are touting as life-changing must-haves and all of a sudden, keeping up with the Joneses is a global phenomenon.
How does globally keeping up with the Jones on social media affect spending habits? Pretty significantly, it turns out. A 2013 report published in the Journal of Consumer Research shared data from multiple studies that showed social media use (Facebook, in particular) could lead to poorer use of self-control in several life aspects: health, mental persistence, and spending and finances. The researchers found that social media affected spending habits in adverse ways such as higher debt weight and lower credit scores.
And it’s no wonder why. With devices like Amazon’s Alexa listening to our conversations and then Facebook ‘magically’ producing ads for the very things we were discussing not minutes before into our feeds (often with apparent ‘flash’ sales or some other inviting incentive), it’s easier than it ever has been before to buy, buy and buy some more.
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Social Media and Spending Habits: One-Click Is All It Takes
We’re all looking for ways to make our lives easier and social media marketers are doing the same with one exception—they’re not concerned as much with your lives being easier as they are your spending ability being easier.
Browse Facebook for 30 seconds and check out how many opportunities you have to take advantage of sales for things with one simple click. American Express lets users use a service called Amex Sync. It’s linked to your Twitter account and allows you to use a hashtag to buy just about anything you want. Snapchat offers in-app purchase ability with various lenses and Instagram recently began allowing in-app purchases when it partnered with PayPal, making it easier than ever for those social media influencers to influence you right into massive debt.
The reality is you’d most likely not be buying those things if they weren’t always being thrown at you in feeds and stories as must-haves and if it wasn’t so easy to fall into the trap of ‘one-click and it’s mine!’ Those clicks add up incredibly fast, and before you know it, you’ve found yourself in a sea of things you didn’t need, bought with money you didn’t have in the first place.
In fact, in 2018, online spending accounted for 11.9% of retail sales, with an estimated fifth of all retail sales to be made online by 2021. Marketers are looking for the best way to get you to buy, and with the subtlest of undertones in the purchasing. It’s those seemingly-innocuous impulse buys that can get us, and all of a sudden, we’re in big debt with little to show for it.
Breaking the Social Media Solicitation Chains
When we’re bogged down under the chains of financial debt and anxiety, we can’t live the life of freedom and generous giving that we want to. When our use of social media affects spending habits, we need to break the chains and dig ourselves out of the pile of debt we’ve accumulated.
That’s why the programs that Christian Debt Counselors offer can be life changers. The compassionate and experienced counselors can help you with debt counseling, debt consolidation and debt settlement programs to name a few. They recognize the gifts we’ve been given in our lives are better shared when we aren’t tied to the bonds of debt and the anxieties that come from spending more than we ever wanted or even had to spend.
In today’s world, we might find ourselves caught up digitally and perhaps we let social media affect our spending habits. But we don’t have to be bound to racking up debt as a result of living a life that’s burdensome because we let social media affect spending habits to the point of overwhelming debt.
Christian Debt Counselors want to help you find the freedom we have in being debt-free and living an abundant life as we were meant to live. Contact them today and let them help you bring your financial freedom back. You owe it to yourself to get out from under owing creditors.