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#4 Follow The Money


Writer Chiara Atik has a hobby -- spying on the financial transactions of friends and strangers. She thinks that Venmo, more than any other social media site, is the place you can find actual, accidental truth online. This week we investigate that claim. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people in each of us Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for listing on sport fi or wherever you get your podcast went to dinner at our friends house, I have to be so careful that high save us than it was a small. Group of friends and I brought two bottles of wine, everybody that brought something and then the host ordered pizza this writer, Kimura Teak and before we go further into this anecdote. You need to know that there is a service called Benbow people use it to pay their friend small amounts of money. You can then more money or even get shot by your friends, get them mode, and it was a really nice evening and we had pizza and drink wine and had dessert and then left
Three days later, I got an van mode wait ten! what are they so shocked? Helping us attitude of limitations on them all from what I'm Pga vote and this reply on the show that the fact that somebody had charged for pizza after bring two bottles of wine. Your party is not that big deal, but is the kind of thing that if it happens, you Buicks s over it. Yes, your friends about it. It comes up in interviews with pod casters dwindling. She don't mention it is on social me. A. U turn petty and be, despite all the hand, wringing about our national overshooting epidemic, there's still a shortlist taboos and monies on it. I would die If anybody saw my recent good, searches or, like my credit card bill or transaction, see now just Lake
Dwayne, Reed fifteen not like any than to the main new shove. What you spend on, I think, as is very private. Cure, though, has found a place on the internet, where people do share all this private information. Information that in any other social media they would never mention its velma. This, I repeat again took place then most front page shows a feat of transactions, just a list of people and what they spend their money on Blake paid, Andrew reason, utilities Julian paid Nicole reason too Tina emerges reading through this list is an exercise in utterly mundane details with some bad jokes thrown in four times a minute. Somebody makes a joke about paying for sexual favours, and yet here, loves reading this. It's a really weirdly, surprisingly addicting feed to look through people are. Surprisingly honest and unthinking,
grandma transactions in it, so not dressed up fascinating. This what people are doing with their lives. Part of the reason she loves it is she thinks it's. The one place on social media were people I'm so image, conscious care thinks you can find real stories here in his shoe box of the internet receipts for example. Last year she got stuck on this one girl s girl, that I see media like once or twice a year at parties Melanie Chicago's. I because of these weird knows between Melanie analyses. Girlfriend. First of all, the notes were very tears. Hake couples on Remo tend to be pretty cutesy like emoticons early nice messages with are very, very utilitarian in all these utilitarian notes. Melanie was charging her girlfriend for staff, which is unusual in relationship to live with someone and constantly be billing.
Turkey are illegally. Maybe it was a break up and then started to be for like half a couch like half the chandelier, and it actually would say those Eric half a chance. Yeah I mean. Maybe it was a very acrimonious break of where they were really divided, their property, It's one thing to make up a story out of snoop financial histories, but how accurate as a story make up actually pretty accurate. It turns out. We found Melanie Well, I was living with my girlfriend and we broke up and I had to move out and am, and so you New York City real estate, I couldn't take, are sectional couch and our chandelier, so in a sort of you know, spiteful manner. I guess that I only now realized I charged her for half of all of our furniture on Venmo before they were dividing furniture Melanie or girlfriend I've been happy. They first met internet then discovered the already lived in the same building,
a year later they were living the other on purpose and the same apartment after, while, though they start having problems now needs girlfriend start cheating, Ire Melanie found out when she checked her colleagues on their shared phone plan, cross reference number with Facebook and found the other girl, she's hurt she's, U million it, and she wanted everybody to be on your side. So she went on social media and started telling the story of her break up the way she wanted it to be. I had been wronged and that I was the view and that I was always the good guy and doing everything right and nice and Poland and just sort of like the stellar champion of a bad situation. So that people would really do I mean not not, Pity me really, but just one would see that I was really the good guy and in all social media. She carefully, curated everything she dead. Even when her ex took potshots at around Instagram
Thumbs downing pictures of Melanie's Dog million, take the bait and she acted magnanimously. She played the blameless victim everything she did in her social media was designed to bolster that image. Everything but then now I think that I didn't handle everything perfectly, but the only glimpse into that is definitely to the through the financial transaction Oddly enough, I can think back to conversations recommend have been trying to Talk things out and be handled the situation like it, odds, and I you know, goodwill bar and then charge her for half the couch or whatever. So I would Rina sent follow up so that she would get constantly paying. That said in a malaise requesting this payment melodies requesting this payment, tiara of course, had been watching the whole thing unfold through these random little transaction windows, but having witnessed the pain cure, also got to witness a happy ending, eventually, mounties transactions begin to tell a story of a person working their way through a bit
jobs are to notice post, break up single girl on the town payments pizza night with the girls, those gay waited on the proud dating transactions. See dinner drinks and then eventually serious relationship transactions. Little plain Oji and light clearly leg weekend away transactions Maloney, never nuclear is watching. She actually only found out when we reach out her for the story, and I thought you'd be freed out by that. Its mortifying think that somebody barely know with spying on you. While you are at your worst, but you surprise me, ok if a little confused I do do, may in a fair share of late stocking here and there, but I've never looked at of animal feed. So I knew it was there. I just really didn't think anyone would ever look at it in a list of financial train transactions. You among everything you can find online about a person, never struck me as something of interest. I would have felt part of exposed. You didn't you
No, I Didn'T- and I think part of that is because in fact the story has a happy ending and a very happy now. But you know the break up at the time was a very difficult thing for me was a hard time in my life and I was upset and sad all the time. So I can imagine if I'd seen this closer to that period. Might have had a different reaction. You know Anybody really does know that your Facebook Twitter, your your interim them in I'm, making those not scare stories written about me and I just went away when what is more like a story written about me, even though I wrote it to her, and I think that I'm totally ok with that, we are really. Read by the idea of this kind of story, and we wonder there are other ones like it hidden away in the financial detritus collected on the internet, so we decided to do some light than most Aki ourselves, but we found coming up after a short break. This episode is bright.
You buy better for it. A new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards and a week later ahead of business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. You are proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends it that you want to be able to feel like you're, making a difference, you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better point. Listen on Spotify Wherever you get, your PA casts, welcome, actor apply are,
so we went out hunting for stories hidden in financial transactions and they're out there we found a thirty two year old woman who just move back home. Her parents, her brother, emailed her money? With a note, the just said sanity turns out. This woman was finishing dissertation move back in with her parents for the first time since high school, she needed a little disposable income that you have to to fight or mom and dad without another member. That said, quote hush money for the time you somehow get beat up and didn't say anything as somebody who is paying her parents back for a four thousand, our alone she's thing in weekly, fifty dollar installments and each one included in the comments from childhood memory she had of them. And then are producing Misitzis found this one, a guy named Evan had charge. Somebody for advice, Lena was curious, so she called him.
Some crazy and it's really kind of the person. I've ever told a complete stranger than I do this, but I ve brought you pay me for advice and INA here. He wanted a minute of advice. Ok super back check. What do you mean people pay you for advice, headed that start? No, so is required to do so. How did it start? I basically was on. Those in the kind of person said how people out, and you know like whenever someone makes the status like any suggestions on this- and I will make sure that give someone the best advice I could become a billion people have always been coming to me and a further question
not all sorts of things and a lot of them are like interpersonal relationships, type of questions like what should I do in this situation in a question that aren't like Google, that someone, maybe can't really find out on their own, and they need a third party enough money does a very strong bias either way. You know, like you know, I am also gotta dont pal, I dont really share anyone's watching with anyone like a trigger the vague that I can tell you that you could. Okay, so like I've had things,
My manager had, I been flirtatious at a bar and I'm trying to decide. If I should use this has something to take advantage of, or should I young nip it in the bud right away? I, u licence to be doing, is what did you got a college boy? Yes, I'm not licence to do this. I thought he'd art and asserted communication, and I studied and high tech didn't stuff, I'm actually yeah, I'm some actually really interested in a monk nurtured, and this was really kind of monetizing at an early stage. Microfinance is really coming very recently There was a girl in a trial run. Do you ever have people call? You ask questions that you feel so unqualified. To answer that you have to say no, I haven't. How do you think about the words like you know, like
I am not the recalled me that has like an addiction problem where my advice you know could could be, and there could be a lot more liability title advice or like no. Never call me would like legal advice because, like that's just the legal, you can't take it legal advice if you're not licensed to do so, especially for charging them so yeah, The more they the more I feel like, I'm really totally unqualified, to be doing it, and still I doing it and is an experiment to really see if people are interested in infer from unbiased advice, Evans, twenty three years intact. He other job and people seem happy the rates, five bucks per minute, although charging that gets tough, Can I ask when you ever? Would you ever like pay like five bucks? Her like Poli Non Bias,
Point otherwise will now I'm so glad you ask, as I was just about to ask you, what do you charge and, depending on what you said, I was gonna ask if I could just ask you for some advice on this phone call, yarn and I'll do for free call. I write well, I am. I am in total, complete, while very now with some, and who is at this moment driving all of my stuff across the country and meeting me in New York and unlike unlike the plan, is to be together, but I.
So, a couple years ago I was, I was diagnosed with something called Polly Cystic ovaries than germ one of the problems. Without is that I'm I'm probably infertile- and I haven't told him that so we ve been together for a long time and he's about to move to New York for me, and I haven't told him that kid's, probably early biological kids probably aren't on the table, and I ve been thinking about it. A lot you uninvited like some, I got is really just to say you should just tell him and then you know the timing is gonna, be up to you. It's gonna come up.
Here if you're in love with the sky- and you really want to be with him- and you see yourself with him forever, like you're gonna get married with him to have read it. I think it's gonna come up anyway and the longer we wait, the more stress you out and the more it will weaken impact when he hears it is gonna eat like every month. That goes five can be another month in thinking. I call why didn't you call me, maybe let me think that I can, if you could be the kind of guy who's whose I'm not gonna break out terribly. I wanted to check in with Lena see if she taken his advice and if so, how to govern what you haven't. I was your first question right, that's like I that's it. Question that I do see ever question. Nea had been on your mind like going into that in our view- spit on my mind alive, is that I moved to New York. Just few weeks ago and my boyfriend
Meeting a york in September he moved to California to be with me and then two months later, I was like wait a second. I know you just got here, but can we just moved to New York instead? So he's made all of these huge grandpa. Yours for me, which has worked out great They get to be with a guy that I like in the places that I like by it, but the other thing have to think about now. Is this person is like back and forth three thousand miles each way just to be with me, and I I don't I I've never had to think about commitment as much as I'm thinking about it right now. We're had you have you, like asked your friends for advice about whether to tell him about this now. None I didn't actually think about how serious my relationship was until a few weeks ago, when I moved back to New York.
Has only been a few weeks really that I've been thinking about the long term future of me in the sky that I'm with, but the minute I said for that phone call it the guy on Van MO, found out that what his when his leg job is, is that he gives it people advice and without thinking about it it was just the first question the came, ass. She did you. Did you act on the advice, yeah you're like smiled where's, he just like it's going well, he made a gotta joke. We're gonna go drunk the movie gotta, where it's like the future of babies, where you gotta pick everything about that. Like work lake, it's like a future of test. You babies, egg right my way for me to joke about by the time. Ready to have babies like it'll be gotta time and lake technology will take care of anything that my ovaries can't take care really sweet. Did you feel you erase.
I felt like I was very young advice telling we mean well I didn't acts. Maybe age has nothing to do with it. It would he wasn't. He didn't go at it in a very complicated way. I'm definitely used to people when, when there's a problem asking me like a bunch of questions about it, and I think what he did was just insert himself into how he would feel if he were the dude whose girlfriend was withholding I'm sure it's hard as a twenty two year old dude, to tell a woman whose a little bit older than you like what to do with her fertility or like how to approach the topic of her fertility, but who do not actually prompt you have received, you do to help you in the UN and the UN. I told my boyfriend. How have you know about this not said anything I've known about? I have known about the fertility. Think since twenty twelve.
So something actually can help you. I know you say what it in any way, but you had any dead as ok. You know, anyway, calling this kid prompted me to tell my boyfriend the truth about our future. Together, revival was hosted by our Goldman me. Pga vote Our producers, Lena Misitzis, are others this week Alex Bloomberg, LISA, Chow, starkly kind and Caitlin Roberts? Not Lieber makes the ship our theme, song is by a mysterious break master cylinder, we're on in every file that limo our side, which is design and partnership with athletics rules on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for listening was the next Wednesday.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.