Jaidev Shergill is the founder and CEO of Bundle.com, a socially informed money management website that is a partner of MainStreet.
Money. Sometimes it seems it's all we ever talk about. The economy, unemployment figures, Wall Street bonuses -- all are major topics of conversation. But when it comes to discussing our personal money issues -- credit card debt, student loans, retirement savings -- Americans can be pretty tight-lipped. Anecdotal evidence from the dining room table suggests that people would rather talk about their sex lives than discuss personal money matters, even with intimates, friends, and family.
What's preventing these conversations from happening? Embarrassment that one is handling one's money poorly, or is making considerably more or less than one's peers, is one answer. Security fears are another. Meanwhile, there exists a wealth of knowledge that we can share with each other about money and finances if only we could cut through the awkwardness and be brave enough to talk openly about those topics.
That's where social media comes in. At its worst and most clichéd, social media can seem little more than a cacophony of voices dissolving into the void. As social media takes enormous strides forward and evolves into action-based trends (witness the rising credibility of certain bloggers, the use of the Internet during the Barack Obama's Presidential campaign, the massive Haiti relief fundraising effort on Twitter), the opportunity exists for people to move substantive conversations about money online. Plainly: Social media can be harnessed for the greater common financial good.