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
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.
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
be another good deal. Amazon Prime Day will be followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday shopping specials, Boxing Day deals and more.
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.
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.
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.”
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
or call 1-888-527-8999.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020
BC's digital media sector suffering from COVID-19 – Technology – Business in Vancouver
With so many people in the pandemic economy restricted to watching movies or playing video games at home, it might seem surprising that British Columbia’s largest digital arts companies experienced a larger decline in employment than the province as a whole, according to data collected on BIV’s list of the biggest digital arts companies in B.C.
Across B.C., employment has recovered significantly from its lows in April and May, but it was still down 3.7% in September compared with February.
Meanwhile, the decline in employment at the province’s top digital arts companies since 2019 has averaged 4.6%.
Their median employment decline was significantly higher at 8.9%, suggesting that smaller companies lower on the list suffered more job losses during the pandemic compared with their larger counterparts higher on the list.
While companies lower on the list may have struggled more through the past year, the same can’t be said for the preceding four years.
Since 2016, the median number of B.C. employees at the province’s top digital arts companies jumped 88.9% to 255 in 2020 from 135 in 2016.
Before the pandemic struck, the median had more than doubled, increasing 107.4% to 280 in 2019.
During the same period, the average increased 12.5% to 384.7 in 2019 from 342.1 in 2016.
The largest company on the list, Electronic Arts, which produces many high profile videogames, including NHL and Star Wars, recorded the largest one-year employment drop on the list. Its number of employees decreased 37.6% to 1,300 in 2020 from 2,085 in 2019.
However, the list’s average one-year employment was up slightly (0.2%), which suggests that large companies with big employee declines dragged the list’s average overall employment level down. •
Media Invitation: National Capital Commission launching first call to developers for exceptional site in Ottawa – GlobeNewswire
LeBreton Flats – Library Parcel
October 30, 2020
OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Capital Commission (NCC) invites the media to a teleconference briefing on Friday, October 30, 2020, at 1 p.m. EST to discuss the launch of the request for qualifications (RFQ) toward the development of the Library Parcel at LeBreton Flats.
This media opportunity follows the first call to developers for innovative proposals toward a net-zero carbon and socially inclusive development of the LeBreton Flats Library Parcel in Canada’s Capital.
The news release announcing the launch, as well as the RFQ document, will be posted on Friday morning.
MEDIA BRIEFING BY TELECONFERENCE
|When:||Friday, October 30, 2020, 1 p.m. EST|
|Who:||Katie Paris, Director, Building LeBreton, National Capital Commission|
Registration is required before 11 a.m. EST on October 30. To register, please email email@example.com
B-roll footage and high-resolution visuals of the Library Parcel are also available upon request.
NCC Media Relations
BBC warns staff not to bring corporation 'into disrepute' over social media use – Yahoo Canada Sports
‘Don’t bring the BBC into disrepute,’ staff warned in new social media rules
New guidance bans employees from expressing personal opinions on current political debate
Journalists, meanwhile, are even given advice on how to use emojis
It comes as part of new boss Tim Davie’s crusade to maintain corporation’s impartiality
BBC staff have been warned not to bring the corporation “into disrepute” on social media.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="New rules policing employees’ use of sites such as Twitter have been imposed as part of new boss Tim Davie’s crusade to maintain the corporation’s impartiality.” data-reactid=”39″>New rules policing employees’ use of sites such as Twitter have been imposed as part of new boss Tim Davie’s crusade to maintain the corporation’s impartiality.
Under the guidance, journalists have been subjected to specific rules which ban “expressing a personal opinion on matters of public policy, politics, or controversial subjects”.
As part of this, reporters have also been warned against “virtue signalling” – “no matter how apparently worthy the cause”.
This includes retweets, likes or joining online campaigns which could “indicate a personal point of view”.
The rules even extend to the use of emojis which “can accidentally, or deliberately undercut an otherwise impartial post”.
Journalists have been told: “Nothing should appear on your personal social media accounts that undermine the perception of the BBC’s integrity or impartiality.”
There is also an instruction for all staff not to “express a view on any policy which is a matter of current political debate or on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other controversial subject”.
Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day presenter who is the corporation’s highest-paid employee, has been known for using his Twitter account for outspoken attacks on the government – a point of such contention that it was discussed at a House of Commons select committee last month.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="High-profile BBC journalists such as political editor Laura Kuennsberg have also been accused of biased Twitter posts, though the corporation has never found her in breach of impartiality rules for something she has posted on social media.” data-reactid=”69″>High-profile BBC journalists such as political editor Laura Kuennsberg have also been accused of biased Twitter posts, though the corporation has never found her in breach of impartiality rules for something she has posted on social media.
Meanwhile, the following social media rules will apply to all staff:
Always behave professionally, treating others with respect and courtesy at all times: follow the BBC’s Values
Don’t bring the BBC into disrepute
Don’t criticise your colleagues in public. Respect the privacy of the workplace and the confidentiality of internal announcements
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Watch: New BBC boss threatens to suspend employees’ Twitter accounts” data-reactid=”75″>Watch: New BBC boss threatens to suspend employees’ Twitter accounts
The BBC warned breaches of the rules “may lead to disciplinary action” and even “possible termination of employment in serious circumstances”.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Appearing before MPs last month, Davie raised the prospect of suspending employees’ Twitter accounts for impartiality breaches, though there is no mention of that in the new guidance.” data-reactid=”81″>Appearing before MPs last month, Davie raised the prospect of suspending employees’ Twitter accounts for impartiality breaches, though there is no mention of that in the new guidance.
Davie took over as director general at the beginning of September with a warning that it is time to “renew” the corporation’s commitment to impartiality: a constant source of controversy surrounding the BBC.
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