Does seeing friends' Venmo payments give you FOMO?

- In addition to allowing its millions of monthly users to send each other a combined $40 billion in the last year, Venmo also offers a social experience by listing every charge and payment of every one of a user's Venmo-friends in a timeline for said user to scroll, enjoy, judge, and over-analyze.

"It tracks really well with what we're seeing on really any social platform—it's all normal human behavior," said Matt Beaudreau, a generational consultant and a speaker for the Center for Generational Kinetics.

Beaudreau is not at all surprised that some Venmo users reported social anxiety from checking the app and learning of gatherings, small and large, to which no one invited them.

"You start to question your relationships," Beaudreau said. "You start to get hurt by that."

He pointed out that at one time or another, members of every other generation felt the same way when their friends failed to include them in something. But these days, evidence of our exclusions pops up more places, more times, more frequently on a device that we carry with us and check constantly everywhere we go.

"Human behavior hasn't changed," Beaudreau said. "We're just being massively over-exposed."

To survive that overexposure on Venmo and dozens of other social networks, Beaudreau advocates for instilling in all of us, particularly our children, an understanding of what social media really shows us: a very cultivated fraction of the truth.

"It's like previous generations dressing up for church: You show your best self—not what's ailing you," Beaudreau said.

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