It was a pretty popular post but based on the comments the likes were for the impressive volume of my hair and not my underlying message about debt.
So, here is what I was trying to get at in my “hair post.”
After grade 6 I did not tease my hair to three inches in diameter – why? Because no one else was doing it… My hair is straight – pin straight, so getting it to that kind of volume took a lot of time and product. After it wasn’t cool, I dropped it like it was hot.
This analogy was meant to demonstrate the cognitive bias known as the band-wagon effect; the phenomenon of doing something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of your own beliefs, which you may ignore or override.
This tendency of people to align their beliefs and behaviours with those of a group is also called herd mentality and is commonly seen in consumer behaviour and investment activities.
Following the crowd can lead to overspending on behavioural items like clothing, vacations, electronics, and recreational items. Social Media has fueled this behaviour and statics show that your debt level increases with the frequency you are on social media platforms. I like to call our curated online lives as “Keeping up with Jones on steroids!”
So, the next time you are death scrolling through your favourite social media feeds and are tempted to buy something that your friend just posted about – wander over to the picture of me and my grade 6 hair to remind you that just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Go against the herd your ego and credit card will thank you????.
Yours in good financial health,