Why Do Millennials Opt for Experiences? Because Instagram Feeds are Social Capital

March 13, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

Millennials have become known for prizing experiences over possessions ー but when you consider the influence of social media, that shift in priorities may be less profound than it appears. More often than not, millennials are "doing it for the gram."

"Sure, I'm invested in experiences, because these experiences have become social capital," Chris Tuff, author of "The Millennial Whisperer," told Cheddar on Wednesday.

And these Instagram-worthy experiences can be pricey.

Tuff shared an anecdote from his book in which he describes booking a $600 fishing guide in Sun Valley, Idaho, just to get a few pictures for Instagram.

"I was like ... all I want is that 'A River Runs Through It' shot and a picture of me with that trout. I don't even want to fish," he laughed. "Yeah, sure you like to think this next generation is more about the experiences, but [ask], why?"

It's all part of what Tuff calls the "Pinterest-ation" of millennial lives, or the impulse to make everything look as pretty and perfect as something you might find on the image boards of Pinterest.

There has already been a bit of a backlash against this type of aesthetic conformity, but time spent on social media continues to rise. According to Nielsen adults 18 years old or older spend an average of 45 minutes per day on social media.

Tuff said maintaining an Instagram-worthy existence can be unhealthy. The emphasis on achieving a life to match the perfection of others' social feeds can be exhausting and anxiety-inducing, he said.

"Stop comparing your insides to other people's outsides," Tuff advised.

For full interview click here.