Are Americans too Materialistic?

by Anonymous

In today’s society, Americans thrive on materialism. No matter how much we are privileged enough to have, it is never enough. There is this constant competition to have the best products that exist, for it is the reason we spend so much money on things we probably don't need. Think about it--do you really NEED that luxury car or is yours perfectly fine? 

Generally, materialism is caused by the intrinsic desire to be happy. Many of us associate this with tangible items, whether it be clothes or technology or that fancy new Rolex watch your neighbor bought last weekend. However it may affect you, materialism is something that many Americans experience at some point in their lives. 
Compared to people in other parts of the world, Americans usually tend to be more materialistic. This is mostly due to the fact that the average American is richer than 99% of the world’s population. 

Although wealth plays a significant role in being materialistic, there are other factors that play into this i.e. influential media. Studies have shown that the media influences decisions in our everyday lives. For example, if you wanted to buy a new handbag and saw numerous commercials about designer ones, you are psychologically more inclined to buy a more expensive handbag. The media often manipulates people into buying more than they should, fueling their materialism, which can lead to many dire consequences. 

There are many ways materialism can negatively affect you. It can ultimately make you lose your perspective, your money, and your morals. It can also lead to unnecessary jealousy and competitiveness, which can cause stress. People, especially Americans, already have “enough on their plate”, so why add more issues with unnecessary materialism? 

If you don’t want to be materialistic, there are a number of aways to cut down. For example, you could donate items to those who are less fortunate. By ridding yourself of unimportant items in your life, you are essentially detoxing yourself from the pollution of society. In doing so, you will most likely be a happier person. It is ironic, since materialism stems from the belief that more items will make you happy when in reality, less items will increase your quality of life. 



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