Personal recommendations are the most coveted award a product can get when you're making decisions. If your friends like it, it must be good! Except you should probably ignore most recommendations from Friends®. Photo by Ian Clark.
As personal finance site Money Ning explains, it's natural for us to value the recommendations of our peers over strangers or marketing companies. We trust our friends and loved ones and they think more like we do than some random person on the internet. However, social media has a way of making us feel connected to people that are more different from us than we think. Normally, this is good! Connecting with a wide range of experiences is good. However, when it comes to buying stuff, you'll almost always find someone who thinks you should buy that thing:
The crowd mentality applies to more than finances, but in this case, it's the voice that urges you to buy something because 'everybody' else already did and you don't want to feel left out. Before social media, we didn't have as much awareness of what other people were purchasing.
Social media can pressure you into buying something you never had any intention of buying. If you're trying to resist a particular indulgent purchase, you might find it hard when loose acquaintances are talking about how much they love it. While social media can be fine for soliciting feedback sometimes, you may want to reconsider asking Facebook's opinion on whether you should buy that new laptop or stick with the one you have. You'll almost always find a justification for why you should.
How Much Does Social Media Influence Your Purchases? [Money Ning]