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Social media is pressuring Gen Z, Millennials to buy what they can afford

Not every youth is making bank by going viral on Tiktok. Quite the contrary: For most Gen Zers and Millennials, social media apps like TikTok and Instagram exacerbate their financial anxiety. So finds Deloitte’s 12th Annual 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, which garnered responses from more than 22,000 Gen Z and Millennial respondents in 44 countries. Fifty-one percent of Gen Zers and 43% of Millennials said social media makes them want to buy things they know they can’t afford.

This can arise from regularly seeing posts from friends or influencers wearing fancy clothing and holidays, as well as seeing targeted ads, says Michelle Parmelli, Deloitte’s global people and purpose leader. “In those ways, social media can create a desire to have more things and spend more money,” she explains. Luck,

Unfortunately for young professionals, extravagant purchases have never been out of reach. Respondents overwhelmingly told Deloitte that the high cost of living is their top social concern — rightly so given that they’re both dealing with real inflation for the first time in their lives and the growing prospect of making student loan payments again. or first time always). Half of Gen Zers and Millennials each say they live paycheck to paycheck.

Some are so stressed about money that they are working second jobs to make ends meet and postponing big life decisions like buying property or starting a family. Instead, they are adopting more expensive habits, such as buying second-hand or avoiding car ownership.

Social media is not helping matters. There’s no shortage of evidence that social media can wreak havoc on the mental health of its users of all ages – not just teens and young adults. Last July, a Bankrate study found that nearly two-thirds of social media users who made an impulse purchase after scrolling down regretted it. analyst Sarah Foster pointed out that those purchases, often driven by clever ads or sponsored content from popular creators, “can often harm our finances more than benefit our lives.” Luck,

It’s a double-edged sword: Social media use and subsequent purchases hurt users’ wallets and their egos. Bankrate found that social media users are more likely to feel negative about their financial situation than any other aspect of their lives. They chalk it up mostly to the comparison game: Many Gen Zers and Millennials said they felt worse about their own finances after seeing another person’s social media posts.

Spending a lot of time online doesn’t help—Deloitte found that one in five (20%) Gen Zs spend five hours or more a day on video social media platforms alone, compared to 17% of Millennials spend five hours or more. traditional social networking sites. He believes it is having a mixed effect on his life, Parmelee said.

“Long sessions of scrolling, swiping and tapping test our brains and send neurochemical signals of frustration and failure,” wrote Brittany Harker Martin, an associate professor of leadership, policy and governance at the University of Calgary. Luck earlier this month.

Suffice it to say, you may be better off deleting your account, both financially and emotionally.

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