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Why do you stalk people on Venmo?

This week on Why’d You Push That Button, we’re getting into one of the real soap operas of modern life: Venmo’s public activity feed. Some people never look at it; some people scroll through it during their daily commute, inexplicably curious about why their friends are exchanging money.

The payment app launched in 2009 and is now popular enough to work as a verb: “I’ll Venmo you,” meaning “I’ll hit you back right now and accompany the payment with some emoji or a dumb inside joke.” Yet, somehow, despite its popularity, and despite numerous trend pieces pointing out the potential for purchase-history sleuthing, users still make their transactions public, allowing others to mine them for drama. Why do we do this to ourselves, (if you…

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