My Problem with Venmo

“I’ll Venmo you!” I bet you’ve heard it or said it many times before -- I know I have.  You definitely hear or say it if you’re in college and enjoy going out with your friends.  For me personally, Venmo has been a major convenience throughout my college social experience. It’s easier than ever to split the bill, pay someone back, donate to organizations, or complete any type of money-transfer almost instantly.  Cash could never. (P.S. Does anyone even carry cash anymore?)

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Although I’m a loyal Venmo user, I do have some beef with this genius app -- or at least its concept.  Here is my issue: each day I watch my friends use Venmo to nickel-and-dime each other for the smallest things.  For example, I was at a food truck with some friends, and one of them forgot to order a $1.00 bottle of water, so the next friend in line ordered an extra water and proceeded to immediately charge the girl $1.00 on Venmo, as if that dollar would send her into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

On a different instance, one of my friends Venmoed me $0.24 because I spotted her $0.24 for the change on her food.  Last week, one of my friends offered to Venmo me for a dose of Nyquil. Another offered to Venmo me for using my hot glue gun for 20 minutes.  My roommate offered to Venmo me for using one (1) makeup wipe. You see where this is going. What happened to just saying thank you and moving on?  What happened to “I’ll get you next time” or “Don’t worry about it”?

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Friends should be able to do and accept small favors without feeling obligated to pay for it, but it has become the expectation that small favors require the use of Venmo as a “thank you”.  Obviously it is wrong to take advantage of someone and not pay back money that you owe. Everyone has a friend who is a low-key scam artist and never pays people back -- don’t be that friend.  However, the bottom line is we need to stop doing these petty-change Venmo transactions in exchange for small favors. That’s not what friendship is about.

Let’s bring back spotting our friends a dollar here and there, or doing our friends favors for the sake of being kind.  Generosity rubs off on people just as much as greed. In the meantime, feel free to Venmo me @Maddie-Hall-5.