Millennials have less money than any other generation did at their age - but you'd never guess it from the way they're flaunting their money on dating apps
- Millennials are less wealthy than previous generations were at their age.
- But that hasn't stopped millennials from showing off their wealth and status on dating apps like Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble, according to Jeanette Settembre of MarketWatch.
- Flaunting this lifestyle can backfire and reduce their chances of getting a date, as some of these status displays are exaggerated.
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Would you swipe right on Lamborghinis and private jets?
Many single millennials are betting that the answer is yes: An increasing number of them are bragging about their social status and wealth on dating apps like Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble in hopes of scoring a date, according to Jeanette Settembre of MarketWatch.These wealth displays are both loud - featuring photos of singles reclining on a private jet or uncorking Champagne on a boat - and quiet - like a bio that includes a recently sold tech business or a message referring to a house in the Hamptons, Settembre reported. Singles are also more likely to show off their experiences, like an exotic vacation, than their material possessions.
"In millennial speak, bragging about your wealth and social status is called 'flexing' or, according to Urban Dictionary, 'showing off your valuables in a non-humble way,'" Settembre wrote. "Trying to seamlessly work it into your dating profile as part of a larger conversation is, of course, humblebragging."
But there are a few ironies behind this flex; one is that showing off your riches can backfire because it's not always subtle and almost always "filtered" - Settembre dubbed it "the Instagramization of dating."
"Welcome to the age of aspirational dating, where singles are selling themselves short by over-selling themselves online and, if they get past Tinder, on a first date," Settembre wrote. "A vacation photo sitting on a yacht is worth more than ... 1,000 words, but flaunting your lifestyle may also sink your chances of a date."
The typical millennial doesn't have much wealth to flaunt
The other irony is that the typical millennial doesn't have riches to flaunt, but you'd never know it by their dating profiles.Millennials are less wealthy than previous generations were at their age at any point between 1989 and 2007, according to The Economist, which cited a recent paper by the Brookings Institution. Median household wealth was roughly 25% lower for those ages 20 to 35 in 2016 than it was for the same age group in 2007.
In particular, millennials born in the 1980s are at the greatest risk of becoming a "lost generation" for wealth accumulation, according to a 2018 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. As of 2016, people born in this decade had wealth levels 34% below where they would most likely have been if the financial crisis hadn't occurred, the report found. As a result, they've been scrambling to catch up ever since and have been the slowest cohort to recover from it.
The reality many millennials are living - one in which they're struggling to save, bearing student loan debt, and facing a higher cost of living - doesn't necessarily line up with the picture they're painting on dating apps.