Growing up, you might have noticed that conversations surrounding money were always sensitive. You’d think that sensible topics like tips on managing your finances properly would be considered polite dinner table talk but that was far from the case. And if you asked someone’s salary by chance, you’d be the rudest randy in the room.
However, with social media spurring conversations and shattering old taboos, we’re noticing a distinct change in discourse. What was once meant to be kept secret is now flaunted on Instagram – a concept that often gets the rich in trouble. Think Kim Kardashian flying out her friends and family to her island during the pandemic for a birthday getaway or Ellen DeGeneres claiming that being inside her mansion during quarantine feels like being in jail.
Nevertheless, the trend is here to stay. Whether someone wins a bet, has investments that pay off, or even loses money, social media always get a news update.
Financial Exhibitionism – What Is It?
Social media is responsible for opening so many windows into your personal life – even the stuff that should be kept secret. Financial exhibitionism is just an extension of that. Seeing how friends and followers portray their lives online, people are increasingly enticed to share details as well. Sure, having a conversation over money is great but, turning your personal finance and transactions into theater could lead to dooming consequences.
For instance, associate professor of University of Southern California’s clinical marketing department Lars Perner, if you show yourself to be a successful investor online, you might feel it necessary to continue delivering. He added that the desire to be needed sparks up every time you see feed-fulls of stories from your contacts.
Here’s What It Might Lead to…
Blurring the lines between reality and performance as such can be dangerous. According to Erin Carson, a CNET staff reporter, the image of self your project on social media can take a huge mental toll on you, especially when it doesn't align with your real self. This becomes even more troublesome when you perceive yourself having an affluent lifestyle when you don't. Additionally, opening your personal life to the world will create space for people to make harsh criticism or mean comments, further easing the creation of a negative self-image.
Social media culture is increasingly blurring the line between private and public life. If you’re looking at influencers, know that sharing some information is how they make their money – and you don’t know how much of their life they're keeping hidden. Be smart and choose wisely what you want to put up for the world to see.