When someone shows off a little online, there’s always people ready to counter.
Some might think it’s necessary to prevent vapid ideals and wasteful spending. Others feel it’s just mean and hurtful to cut someone down who just wants to feel good.
When Redditor PlentyBonus5530 tried to show off her new set up for remote learning, some people online were quick to comment. Now the original poster (OP) is wondering if they shouldn’t have shared.
To find out, OP is asking the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her situation.
“AITA for ‘showing off my wealth’ during the pandemic?”
Her story went:
“Pretty short read:”
“As school is all online (and a big chance of it being so for at least this year), my dad bought me a cool set up. He got me a brand new computer, so I could use it more comfortably than my laptop, a new ipad, a comfy chair and a couple of other online school helpers.
“I had just renovated my room and installed a new light and my room looked really cute so I posted a couple of pictures on my instagram.”
“One shot was of my table, fully set up with my dad’s gifts, and one was of my dog wearing my new headphones. I thought it looked aesthetic and I was proud of how organized everything looked (very pinteresty) but I got a lot of hate for it.”
“A lot of people told me I was insensitive for ‘showing off my wealth’ during the pandemic and most of my comments were about ‘spending daddy’s money’. I’m 16 so I don’t have any of my own wealth to spend and my dad did it voluntarily.”
“I didn’t really mean to make anyone feel bad and I didn’t try to mock anyone.”
“I wasn’t trying to flex anything (it really isn’t that much) and I don’t think it’s that much of a big deal, but everyone else is kind of saying it is.”
Over on the AITA board, commenters pass their judgement on the story by deciding who is at fault. They do this by commenting one of the following at the OP.
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
There’s a fine line between being proud of something and showing off. OP’s set up wasn’t something she was trying to shove in people’s faces, but people took offense anyway.
The vote came in that OP was NTA.
“NTA – highschoolers suck at times and will look for any possible way to tear you down. This goes double if they get to feel self righteous while doing it.”
“It’s pathetic and immature but that’s kids for you.”
“Edit: though after reading AITA as much as I have I have to say a lot of adults out there acting like highschoolers. Honestly though my friend group was done with this sh** in middle school.” – grouchymonk1517
“NTA. You posted it on your IG, not someone elses. Now if u went around posting it all over boards and stuff, that would be different.” – cheery13
“NTA these people are just jealous of you. It isn’t insensitive to be proud of how something looks and want to show it instagram is full of images like this.”
“It is insensitive to be so envious of someone that you feel the need to hate on them, even if there was no pandemic I guarantee the comment they made would remain the same.” – Tacticalia
“I know money struggles. I am a single mom of 3 and pregnant with my 4th. I became a mom when I was a teen. I know what it’s like to struggle.”
“I still think that you’re NTA.”
“I never found anything wrong with people showing off what they have. I never thought it was insensitive.”
“This won’t be a popular opinion but I think people are too concerned with what others do and have. If people want to show off what they bought or received then who cares?”
“It isn’t hurting anyone. It doesn’t make others struggle less to hold back and not show off or make posts.” – dannybee3
While none of the comments thought a literal child sharing their computer setup was really going to be the jerk in this situation, they did think it could be a teaching moment.
They asked OP to think a little on the situation and consider the feelings of other people.
“NTA obviously but you might want to use this moment as a reality check. You say”
“‘I wasn’t trying to flex anything (it really isn’t that much)’”
“‘a brand new computer, a new ipad, a comfy chair’”
“is a lot more than a ton of working adults could afford for themselves right now, let alone for their children. That’s in no way your fault and I don‘t say this to make you feel bad, I just think that it would serve you well in life to become a little more aware of your privileges.” – Bloxberg_
“It’s great that it looked aesthetic. It’s awesome your family can afford a whole new expensive aesthetically pleasing learning area for you at this time. Sharing it isn’t inherently wrong.”
“But this is exactly why kids your age need to be taught how to keep things private Because you absolutely were flaunting your family’s wealth, and it sounds like it was to a bunch of kids who do not have the same luxuries.”
“The worst part is it didn’t even occur to you that showing everyone an extremely expensive lovely setup would hurt feelings and put a target on your back, because to you it’s just pretty stuff that makes your insta look nice.”
“Flaunting wealth often happens for one of 2 reasons, pride, or ignorance. In this case, both. Neither inherently makes you an a**hole but there’s also 2 ways people who flaunt wealth get treated: with resentment, and people taking advantage of them.”
“Some people like the feeling of resentment. Some people like the feeling of having friends beholden to them and their wealth. It makes them feel superior. But if you value an equal relationship with your peers be greatful for your luxuries in private.”
“I think your generation is going to have an extremely different relationship with wealth. In my day we’d just have hated on something like this in private, it’s interesting to me you got called out on it.” – OilSeeYouL8r
“People are going without food right now. People can’t pay rent. And youre getting new stuff.”
“Life isn’t fair at all, but the people getting mad at you are much more aware of how much people are struggling right now. This might be a lesson in empathy for you, if you let it be.”
“NAH.” – blurox85
OP could have exercised a little more discernment before sharing the photos, but sharing them isn’t inherently wrong. Friends, classmates or other commenters should have exercised the same before trying to shame someone for being proud of their setup.
But the real issue here is a lack of empathy on everyone’s part. OP may be a child, but she’s old enough to know displays of wealth during a pandemic can hurt the feelings of those who are struggling to get by.