The “shoppable life” is an effort to “separate people from their money with less and less friction,” says Hund.

There is one major difference between Instagram today and American society more than a century ago: In the past, people were after an unattainable lifestyle they saw in the class above them, which was created mostly by inherited wealth; Today, on Instagram, they are after the lifestyle of the “class” above them that is largely an illusion crafted by technology and marketing. It’s hard to say which is worse.

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