We Are Spending Too Much Money To Gain Some Instagram Likes

Young adult African and Hispanic female looks out the window while holding a digital tablet on a commuter train

Source: Courtney Hale / Getty

“Doing it for the ‘gram’” is officially out of control.

According to a new study by Chase Slate, 77% percent of millennials bought food, clothing, and travel just to stunt on their Instagram profiles, NBC reports. The population was willing to spend $137 to get likes versus genpop ($70).

Dr. Robi Ludwig said this overspending can be attributed to a way of thinking called “I am if I have.”

“We live in a world that values what people have, rather than things that actually lead to fulfillment. It’s a byproduct of a culture that’s gone amiss. People want to appear successful and the best way to communicate that is with imagery.”

With us constantly scrolling through the highlight reels of other people’s lives, it makes sense that this social pressure has translated into our pockets.

“One reason millennials may be the biggest spenders is because appearances tend to matter more when you’re younger,” Ludwig told NBC.

“Millennials are more image-conscious, and they grew up watching people get famous for being famous, not because they had talent. So it’s easy for them to think, ‘If my presentation is alluring enough, I’ll get opportunities, I’ll become a celebrity.’”

The age of the influencer has everyone thinking they can become one. Influencers are often perceived to having lives “easier” than your normal 9-5ers who may slave away in the office versus “just posting” cool photos.

Of course, that’s not all to the story (but social media rarely shows the whole story.) Influencers usually have to make many sacrifices on the front end to reap any financial benefit from their audiences in the future.

It’s important to consider why you are doing it–if you’re chasing likes in hopes of making profit without making a full strategized plan, you’ll most likely earn only that—likes.

But if you’re going for some bucks, being transparent about why you like something, or why you visited that location can add some context to set you a part from the 1 billion active users on the platform.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket though. No social media platform stays around forever (think Myspace. RIP).