Tech's guilt trap
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Wishing your friends a happy birthday on social media now comes with a side of guilt.
Why it matters: "Tech is making it easier to stick a virtual hand out ... for tips and gifts you might not have planned to give," reports USA Today's Edward C. Baig.
- On Facebook, more birthday humans are soliciting donations for their charities of choice.
- Doing nothing comes with a pang of guilt: “It seems odd to transform birthday greetings into a transactional event,” one Facebook user told Baig.
This guilt trap carries over into the physical world, Baig notes.
- New point-of-sale tech has created the moment when a barista swivels an iPad around and gives you the option of tipping 18%, 20% or 25%.
- Now you have to make a quick decision on whether you want to tip as the barista and the person behind you in line stare you down.
The big picture: Facebook is leaning into the giving aspect of its platform, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.
- The site has nixed transaction fees on donations and established a $50 million fund to match gifts.
- In the first year that Facebook added the feature, users raised more than $300 million.
Between the lines: It's getting increasingly easy to spend money on social media platforms.
- The platforms are getting smarter about targeted ads and adding functions that let you shop without even leaving the app.
The bottom line: There are far worse ways to spend your pocket change than charitable gifts and tips.