Are You What You Buy?

While flipping through old magazines at the Doc’s office, I read about a site called in a Time article. It’s yet another social media site, except this time you link up your credit card data so it can automatically share all your purchases with others (amount, store, and in limited cases actual items). You can add more details, and users can comment and discuss each others purchases.

The writer initially thought that such exposure would help control her spending (I call this the “shame” theory). Perhaps you really do eat out too much. However, many users of the site have found that instead people start actually buying items just so they could show up on Blippy. Want to look outdoorsy? Better buy some camping gear at Sports Authority.

Which made me wonder… Are you what you buy? My gut reaction is that the idea just sounds horrible. Does this really paint anywhere near a complete picture of yourself? Maybe it’s actually more objectively accurate than I think. I then thought maybe you are what you don’t buy… but that probably won’t work either. I wonder what people would think of my purchases. I can’t see myself signing up for this.

Still… Twitter is huge, and I’ve only just started trying to use @mymoneyblog regularly. Blippy has been called the “Twitter of Personal Finance”, and one of the co-founders of Twitter is a major investor. What do you think?

Would you be intersted in signing up at

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  1. Blippy had an issue sometime back and user credit card numbers were exposed in Google. Not going to use Blippy come hell or high water.

  2. Consumerism is probably the root cause of the horrible state of the Union these days … and I see Blippy as a site that promotes consumerism. When will it end?

    You mention that you might be what you don’t buy. This seems more accurate to me because it paints a better picture of who YOU are, as opposed to feeling a certain way based on what you buy (or what you THINK you should buy based on what OTHERS are buying).

    Let’s get back to what’s really important in life … it is NOT what other people are buying! … or what YOU are buying!

  3. Hmmm…our privacy is not being invaded, we’re handing it away on a silver platter with things like this.

  4. Blippy accidentally (hopefully accidentally, anyways!) showed their users’ credit cards:

    I’m always weary of these startups that want to tap into my banking info…

  5. FYI – This is the website that was found to be accidently revealing some users’ credit card numbers to Google two months ago. Not a stellar record.

  6. Larger spending outside of credit cards probably says more about you – how much you save, give away, house/car pmts, and other large deductions from bank accounts.

  7. Here’s Blippy’s reply to that credit card number thing, not quite as bad as it sounded initially. But it’s true, why would you give up your personal info without something really useful in return (some use, Yodlee, etc).

  8. I like the voting at the end of posts.

  9. “Does this really paint anywhere near a complete picture of yourself? Maybe it’s actually more objectively accurate than I think.”
    Walmart has got this down to an art form, go spend some time learning about what they know about their customers and it is scary stuff.

  10. I pay for EVERYTHING by credit card (and pay off each month) for the rewards, and even if there weren’t the security worries, I don’t think I’d like the idea of others following my every purchase.

  11. Sounds like a Carrie Bradshaw article

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