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Online shopping and social media: It’s a hard habit to break – The Journal Pioneer

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Q:



It’s hard to admit, but I get so jealous sometimes looking at what my friends share on social media. And they brag about the deals they get. Before the pandemic it was all about beautiful vacation spots without spending a lot, and now it’s about renovations and the amazing updates they’re doing to their homes. My lifestyle doesn’t come close to theirs, and deal or no deal, it seems that no matter what I spend, I just can’t compare. Before the pandemic I had thankfully made a dent in my credit card debt, but the balances are creeping up again. I’d avoid social media if I could, but I use it to keep in touch with friends and family back home. And to make matters worse, I know I’m going to have trouble keeping my online shopping under control as the holiday deals and sales start. What can you suggest? ~Tracey


A:

Social media is a powerful influence. It helps us stay in touch with friends, get information, share photos or videos with family, and it has provided many people with connections to others in their community during the pandemic. However, feelings of envy or jealousy, a drive to keep up with the Joneses, or being unable to turn away from promotions and ads — those aren’t positive outcomes of social media use. When we notice these negative effects emerge in our lives, it’s time to take immediate action before a situation gets any worse. This is especially true when it comes to our money and debt.

Managing our money is about more than simple financial decisions. Our emotions, thoughts and moods play a huge role in determining our spending choices. Think about the last time you spent on a “want” and how easy it was to justify your decision, even if your budget didn’t allow for that particular expenditure. Dealing with the emotional side of money can be hard enough most days because everyone has things they want and can’t afford. Add in the psychological effects of social media, and effective money management can feel like the most impossible chore.

Social media platforms are used in different ways

Social media comes in many forms and the platforms of choice not only vary from person to person, but what they’re used for varies too. Some use Twitter to find the latest news while others use it to catch up with their friends. Instagram is great for sharing photos and videos and doesn’t focus on building social relationships the way Facebook does. LinkedIn takes on business networking in the social sphere, whereas Pinterest is a popular visual network for users to save, share and discuss what they discover on a topic of interest. Many teens and young adults use TikTok, Snapchat or Reddit to get their fix, and YouTube has likely been used at least once by everyone who has ever gone online.

Beyond what we normally think of as social media, we also use social platforms to seek information. For example, you may join a WhatsApp or Goodreads group to stay up to date on a specific topic, check review forums to gain added insights before making a purchase (e.g. TripAdvisor), join a discussion after reading a blog (e.g. Digg or Disqus), or interact on shopping websites (e.g. Etsy, Airbnb, even Amazon). For businesses, social media is a more dynamic version of word-of-mouth and it can foster engagement between a business and its customers, helping turn “wants” into “needs” and a boost for the bottom line.


Surprising Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Credit Card Balance

However, while businesses are watching out for their bottom lines, you need to watch out for yours. The trick is to still keep using social media for the social part, but keep it separate from the financial. Here are some ways to do that.

Avoid buying into fast-paced decision making

Before social media became mainstream, we used to make our purchasing decisions at a much slower pace. We took our time to comparison shop, gather information from a variety of sources, and ask friends or neighbours for their opinions. It used to take days or hours to make a spending decision. Now, in the middle of making our spending decisions, we have instant reviews from strangers, opinions from friends, and comparison shopping opportunities at our fingertips. It takes mere moments, followed by a click or a tap, and the deed is done.

While the fast-paced ways of receiving information on the fly might be convenient if we were buying everything at auction, that’s not how we typically do our shopping. Being bombarded with all of this information leads to information overload, which decreases our ability to make wise choices. It causes a heightened sense of urgency where none exists — there will

always

be another good deal. Amazon Prime Day will be followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday shopping specials, Boxing Day deals and more.


How to Save Up for Any Big Purchase

Take control of online shopping

Rather than give in to this urgency and pressure, take a step back and force yourself to slow down your decision-making process and regain control of your online shopping. Start by setting up a separate email address for promotional emails or, better yet, unsubscribe entirely from any type of marketing that doesn’t

fit within your budget

or align with your goals. You want to do your research on your terms, not be tempted by a slick email marketing campaign, flash sale or free shipping.

Then make it as cumbersome as possible for you to buy online. Remove saved credit card details, passwords and other payment information from online accounts. Delete apps that cause you to spend mindlessly while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. Turn off one-click buying, which can be especially tempting on Amazon.

Finally, and definitely before you make a purchase — not after — seek opinions from those you trust and who have experience with the purchase you want to make. Avoid asking your whole social network to weigh in because free advice is seldom cheap. Then disable the option on buying sites that post your purchases to social media accounts. As Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice.” By slowing down your decision-making, you’ll be more confident and satisfied with the choices you make.


What to Do If Social Media is Adding to Your Debt Problems

Limit the influence social media has on your spending

It can be hard to be confident in our spending choices, especially when we subject ourselves to negative influences every time we scroll through our feed. One solution to this never-ending cycle of self doubt and buyer’s remorse is to create social channels filled with positive peer pressure that nudges us in the direction we want to go.

Giving up social media isn’t realistic for most people because we use it for more than shopping. However, we can open new accounts where we only “friend” or follow those who align with our values and goals. We can also unfollow those who don’t enrich our lives, including professional influencers, hired by brands to sway our decisions through the impossibly perfect life of Instagram.

Beyond structuring social media channels in a way that suits your needs, you can also set limits on how much you consume and when you consume it. Set a timer and when it rings, move on to another activity you enjoy. Avoid using social media when you’re shopping to help yourself stick to making your own decisions. If you’re not sure you can follow through with your plan, power off your phone and sign out of all accounts on your laptop until you get used to shopping solo.

It’s important to sign out of your accounts and your browser to reduce temptation, but also to stop cookies from following you from one device to the next. Browsing in incognito mode also avoids cookies and tracking. If you like to chat in Messenger while shopping online on your laptop, for instance, you may have noticed how your phone later displays ads for the items you were looking at on your laptop. Clear your cookies and cache regularly to avoid this targeted advertising that tries to make you think you want to buy what you looked at.


Looking for Great Deals? Resist the Urge to Buy Impulsively


The bottom line on social media use with online shopping

Social media has as much influence over us as we allow it to have. Help ensure that it has a positive influence on your spending habits by talking to those around you about the changes you’re making and why. Most people don’t like to talk about money, so it can help to find like-minded people through a social network if your friends or family aren’t able to be supportive. By stating your intentions clearly it not only reinforces them for yourself, but it means you can find those who will help hold you accountable to your goals.

When it comes right down to it, great deals, whether we get them online or in store, can add up to a lot of debt, because spending less isn’t the same as saving money, especially when buying more than we need. As Warren Buffett once said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”


Related reading:


Money Habit of Successful People That You Can Do Too


#LearnWithCCS: 5 Money Tips About Personal Finances


Financial Throwback – What Would Yours Reveal?


Scott Hannah is president of the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit organization. For more information about managing your money or debt, contact Scott by





email



, check



nomoredebts.org



or call 1-888-527-8999.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Social Media Stocks Jump After Snap Results Suggest Ad Strength – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Oil and Gasoline Tumble in Wake of Mounting U.S. Fuel Supplies

(Bloomberg) — Oil plummeted and gasoline futures tumbled after a U.S. government report showed swelling fuel stockpiles and slowing demand as the coronavirus pandemic rages.Crude futures in New York declined as much as 3.9% on Wednesday, while gasoline futures dropped over 4%. Domestic gasoline inventories rose 1.9 million barrels last week, the biggest increase since May, while a measure of gasoline consumption slid to the lowest since late September, according to an Energy Information Administration report. The mounting fuel supplies and lackluster demand may worsen during the normally sluggish winter driving months.“The resurgence in Covid-19 has put a pause in the expectation that we’d see increased demand,” said Brian Kessens, a portfolio manager at Tortoise, a firm that manages roughly $8 billion in energy-related assets. “The build in gasoline is an indicator that we are seeing that truly play out.”Rising coronavirus infections worldwide are putting a damper on an already murky demand outlook, with governments imposing or considering tighter restrictions. Milan, Italy’s financial capital, will be under night-time curfew beginning this week, while Germany’s new infections reached a record. In the U.S., New York posted more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since May.JBC Energy cut its outlook for oil-products demand this year and early 2021, saying that “the persistent lack of recovery in U.S. gasoline demand remains particularly worrisome.”Flagging fuel demand highlights the importance of ongoing discussions over the next round of U.S. virus aid to reviving energy consumption. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the goal in talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a deal on a coronavirus relief package within the next 48 hours, though any agreement likely faces a roadblock in the Republican-controlled Senate.“There’s concern about the growing virus caseload in a lot of places hitting demand, especially if there’s not some fiscal stimulus,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “Global inventories are still quite high and they’re not going to come down until we get a stronger demand recovery. Now, it looks like that will be pushed further out into the future.”The surprise gasoline build led to another leg lower for refining margins. The so-called crack spread for combined gasoline and diesel against WTI futures slumped to the lowest since early April, providing little incentive for refiners to churn out more product in the midst of depressed demand.“There’s no reason for these guys to run the refinery. It’s a losing proposition,” said Bob Yawger, head of the futures division at Mizuho Securities. “There’s nobody that’s in a hurry to bring refinery utilization rates back up.”In another sign of weakness, the EIA report showed a fifth straight weekly build at the nation’s biggest storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. Crude inventories there are now over 60 million barrels for the first time since May. The spread between WTI’s nearest contracts weakened to its widest contango structure in about a week, signaling concerns of oversupply.Still, distillate stockpiles decreased 3.83 million barrels last week and crude stockpiles dropped just over 1 million barrels, the government data showed.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report – The New York Times

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.

A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.

While YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story and Twitter initially moved to ban all links to the piece on its platform. Those actions infuriated some Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures, who accused the social networks of censorship and election interference.

We speak to Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, about how the episode reveals the tension between fighting misinformation and protecting free speech.


INSIDE ‘THE DAILY’ For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Read the latest edition here.

  • Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The New York Times.

Credit…Democratic National Convention

There are a lot of ways to listen to ‘The Daily.’ Here’s how.

We want to hear from you. Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at thedaily@nytimes.com. Follow Michael Barbaro on Twitter: @mikiebarb. And if you’re interested in advertising with “The Daily,” write to us at thedaily-ads@nytimes.com.


Kevin Roose contributed reporting.

“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (16.28%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (7.69%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.38 (7.04%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.13 (0.47%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 278.65 (0.13%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.22 (0.0%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.60 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 494.58 (-0.13%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 2.95 (-0.34%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 309.79 (-0.59%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.50 (-1.19%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.50 (-2.65%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 30.81 (-4.47%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 537.02 (-5.51%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (-6.67%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (-10.53%)
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (-21.43%)

InvestorChannel

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