3 Interesting Discoveries I’ve Made from Trolling Venmo

Flickr / Tatsuo Yamashita
Flickr / Tatsuo Yamashita

If I could make a blanket statement about twenty-something’s, (and trust me I’m cringing over here even saying “twenty-something” so you know this better be good) it’s that we obsess over social media. We take something that could be OK in moderation, and we abuse it and consume it at unnatural rates. It becomes a source of anxiety. So much anxiety, that it becomes a weekly topic of discussion with our therapists.

OK, now I’m just projecting, but the initial statement holds true. The point is that we absorb so much social media that our mindsets are altered. Our perceptions of people change. Our perceptions of ourselves change. So I’ve conducted a little experiment. Over the past few months I’ve been using Venmo as I would any other social media app: I’ve liked, I’ve commented, and I’ve replied with the moon and nail painting emojis. I’ve done it all, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Just because Venmo lacks the frills and thrills of instagram and Facebook, the FOMO is still very present.

I’ve found that I can actually become more jealous of interactions on Venmo than any other social media platform. For example: I see that Jordan paid Chelsea for “vinooooo.” Now my thought process is as follows: First I translate vinooooo and understand that these gals have just found an oh so cultured way of saying “wine.” Next, I create elaborate scenarios in my head about the situation in which they would be drinking wine.

They could be drinking by themselves on a cozy couch somewhere, they could have bought drinks at a bar (probably served by a gorgeous bartender, and one thing leads to another and now Chelsea and said bartender have exchanged numbers,) or they could even be saying “vinooooo” as a substitute for “renting out that vineyard in Italy this summer!” All of these are possible, some more than others, but the fact remains as follows: I am nowhere in that transaction. Bring on the anxiety.

2. Boys of any age still think it’s hilarious to make sex jokes: gay, straight, or otherwise.

I’ve seen one too many Venmo transactions labeled “over the pants hand job” or “mouth things.” Let me just take a guess at what you really paid for: maybe a drink, maybe a meal, maybe you had to split cleaning supplies for the apartment. All I know is that boys find it hilarious and groundbreaking. Honestly though, I don’t hate it. So boys, thanks. You keep me young.

3. People are more accountable when they don’t have to put in a lot of effort.

Since I’ve started using Venmo, I’ve come to realize that my friends aren’t cheap and flakey…they’re just lazy. It used to take weeks to get back money that was owed to you. Going to the bank was a hassle, transferring online was too complicated, and eventually the money that was once owed would simply vanish away into the abyss of debts past.

Now I get paid instantly because it is so damn easy. We are also more generous when things are simple. I always cash out for a cause and donate to Possible to help give people basic access to health care. All I have to do it click one box. Now if I had to log in and fill out my credit card information every time, I probably wouldn’t be as generous. That sucks on my behalf, but go Venmo for understanding our sloth like tendencies and for teaming up with a great cause. TC mark

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