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Influencers are bullshit.

Happy Monday, money nerds. Today’s top money stories are all about how our friends and family influence us — both on social media and in real life.

How your friends change your habits — for better or worse. [BBC] — “We often think that self-control comes from within, yet many of our actions depend just as much on our friends and family as ourselves. Those we surround ourselves with have the power to make us fatter, drink more alcohol, care less about the environment and be more risky with sun protection, among many things. This is not simply peer pressure…Beneath your awareness, your brain is constantly picking up on cues from the people around you to inform your behaviour. And the consequences can be serious.”

The age of envy: How to be happy when everyone else’s life looks perfect. [The Guardian] — “Perhaps, though, each of us also needs to think more carefully when we do use social media actively, about what we are trying to say and why – and how the curation of our online personas can contribute to this age of envy in which we live.”

“I make seven figures a year traveling the world and let me tell you: Influencers are bullshit.” [Matt Kepnes on Thought Catalog] — “Calling yourself an influencer is all about you. That means all you’re doing is talking about yourself and trying to show your best life on social media — while then often complaining about how many hours you work and how hard it is. You know why it’s hard? Because, since you don’t really create anything of value to others, you have to hustle for every dollar…‘Inspiration porn’ only goes so far.

Lastly, check out the Personal Finance Club account on Instagram. Nearly every day, Jeremy Schneider posts fun and informative images and infographics to help people get better with money. This is an example of how we — all of us — can use social media as a tool for good.

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