Venmo is turning our friends into petty jerks
Venmo is wonderful. It’s one, critical part of living my cashless dream. What I enjoy most about it is that it is that it sort of decentralizes payment, removing the need to have a physical means of currency transfer as long as a friend does. The other day, I wanted to grab some quick food before a movie– my friend got in line for the movie and bought tickets and I Venmoed him the money while I was waiting for food. (Actually, that’s a lie. I still owe them money since I have no phone and therefore no Venmo. But the convenient solution existed!)
But this article highlights my main problem with it. I love having a relationship with people where we’ll buy lunch or beer or whatever for each other, knowing that, over a long enough sample size, we’ll average out to about even. It’s almost like a national debt, where other countries (friends) are invested in your success because they/you owe you/them money.
Venmo allows us to get to that “even” point in real time! Which is cool! Also really annoying, and loses a component of trust that we had as friends.