By Jillian Berman

Is an app enough to make you a scrooge? This is a question I’ve been pondering recently, thanks to headlines like “Venmo is turning our friends into petty jerks,” and “Cheap bros have found a new way to get out of paying for dates.” These stories center on the mobile payment app Venmo and the power it provides users to “charge” a friend for the half a bottle of wine they consumed after being invited over or pester a date to pay for their portion of dinner.

Of course, having the ability to simply press a button to request money from a friend makes the task much easier than having an awkward conversation with them about the $4 they owe you. But what is motivating the desire to get the money back in the first place? Are all of us at our core stingy jerks looking for any excuse to get whatever money we can justify as owed to us?

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