Generation Z and Millennials say social media puts pressure on them to buy what they can’t afford and sends them into a spiral of anxiety

Not every young person earns money from the bank It’s going viral on TikTok. On the contrary: for most Generation Z and Millennials, social apps like TikTok and Instagram deepen their financial anxiety. So he finds Deloitte’s 12th Annual 2023 Gen Z and Millennials Survey, which collected responses from over 22,000 Gen Z and Millennial respondents from 44 countries. 51% of Gen Z and 43% of Millennials said social media made them want to buy things they couldn’t afford.

This could be due to regularly seeing posts by friends or influencers flaunting fancy clothes and vacations, as well as targeted advertising, says Michele Parmelee, global leader in people and goals at Deloitte. “In this way, social media can generate the desire to own more things and spend more money,” he says Fortune.

Unfortunately for young professionals, extravagant shopping they were never further out of reach. The vast majority of respondents told Deloitte that the high cost of living is their main social concern – rightly so, given that both are facing real inflation for the first time in their lives and the looming prospect of paying off a student loan again (or for the first time). Half of Generation Z and Millennials say they live paycheck to paycheck.

Some people are so stressed about money that they are taking a second job make ends meet and put off important life decisions, such as buying a property or starting a family. In their place, they adopt more lavish habits, such as buying used things or avoiding owning a car.

Social media doesn’t help. Is there is no shortage of evidence what social media can do wreak havoc on mental health users of all ages – not just teenagers and young adults. Bankrate last July test found that nearly two-thirds of social media users who made an impulse purchase after scrolling down the page regretted it.

These purchases, often the result of clever ads or content sponsored by popular creators, “can often hurt our finances more than they benefit our lives,” analyst Sarah Foster he said Fortune.

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 view their financial situation negatively than any other aspect of their lives. They mainly attribute this to the comparison game: many Millennials and Millennials said they felt bad about their own finances after seeing someone else’s post on social media.

Spending a lot of time online doesn’t help – one in five (20%) Millennials spend at least five hours a day on social media video platforms alone, Deloitte found, while 17% of Millennials spend at least five hours a day on traditional sites social. They find it has a mixed effect on their lives, Parmelee said.

“Long sessions of scrolling, swiping, and tapping make our brain check and send neurochemical signals of demotivation and failure,” Brittany Harker Martin, associate professor of leadership, politics and governance at the University of Calgary wrote for Fortune earlier this month.

Suffice to say, you might be better off – both financially and emotionally – by deleting your account.

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