Social media makes users feel poorly about their finances after seeing others’ posts, a new Bankrate survey shows.
Beating out how users feel about their appearance and their personal relationships, 34% of social media users feel negatively about their finances after reading social media posts on the topic.
Jealous, Anxious & Mad
What are their grievances? A mixture of jealousy, anxiety and anger.
Younger users on social media feel particularly negative about their finances when they observe their peers’ social media posts. Forty-seven percent of Gen Z (ages 18 to 25) and 46% of Millennials (ages 26 to 41) feel bummed about their finances, outpacing the 22% of Baby Boomers (ages 58 to 76) who feel the same.
Women are also more prone to negative feelings about their money situation when dabbling on social media; 36% of women said their perceptions about their finances were impacted negatively by social media, while 32% of men responded the same.
By income, people earning less feel social media has a more negative effect, with 38% of those making less than $40,000 annually reporting that social media made their feelings about money more negative, compared to 30% of respondents making $80,000 or more annually becoming more pessimistic about their financial standing in life.
Nearly two-thirds, 64%, of parents with children under 18 on social media, said their kids don’t have realistic expectations about money.
Financial Education Needed
Ted Rossmann, senior industry analyst for Bankrate, explains: “Unfortunately, most people don’t get a lot of personal finance education at school or at home. Kids and young adults can be especially vulnerable because they’re impressionable and don’t have as much life experience. They may feel that they can trust a certain friend or influencer, and they don’t realize that the advice they’re giving may not be the best approach.”
Unrealistic expectations over finance because of social media may be fueling impulsive purchases of products seen online, the Bankrate survey also found. Almost 50% of all American adults report that social media has caused them to regret making an impulsive purchase, and younger users are again more likely to make one.
A full two-thirds of Gen Z and 55% of Millennials purchased something online without even thinking about it, compared with 45% of Gen X and 38% of Baby Boomers.
However, men are less likely than women to make an impulsive purchase after being influenced by social media that they later came to regret (45% versus 52%).
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