American's Materialistic Life

December 11, 2011
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Everywhere you go in today’s society, one can easily look around themselves and see how big of a role technology and other materials play apart of our daily lives. Our generation, The Millennial Generation (Ages 18-30), grew up with technology evolving and improving so it has become such a huge part of our lives. We as Americans have a lot of material items that we take for granted. Many of us do not realize how much we depend our everyday lives off of the technologies and materials that we have been provided with. Americans consider themselves less materialistic than foreigners make them out to be. But in actuality, Americans truly are materialistic yet they believe their material objects are the natural benefits of work or as a reward.

How many people do you see with an iPhone in their hand everyday? The answer would be very surprising; and that does not include the amount of people who desire to have one. Insecurities play an important role on materialism in today’s society. An interview was held at FAU and Freshman, Lizzie Barnes stated, “I have an iPhone, and I would die without it.” (Crowley Pg. 37). Clearly it is not how we look at these objects but more so how these objects make others look at us. The modern day American has many political, economic, and family problems; all which don’t really effect the way they think and look at their materialistic views.

“Even in times of recession or depression Americans are still materialistic and they continue to use possessions to give value and meaning to their lives.” (Lockett.) Americans just have a constant thought of an outside look at themselves, thus another reason for being so material. We are all judgemental, insecure, envious people that all desire these materials that make our image of our own outside self look more appealing to ourselves and others. There are constant reminders everywhere.

The “likert scale,” which was used to measure what people valued the most by taking a survey, is interesting as to the fact that this is what many people think: 1. I admire people who own expensive homes, cars, and clothes, 2. Some of the most important achievements in life include acquiring wealth and material possessions, 3. The things I own say a lot about how I am doing in life, 4. I like to own things that impress people, 5. Money can solve most peoples problems, 6. Financial security is important to me, 7. If I had to chose between more money or leisure, I would chose more money (Keng). These are only seven statements of many reasons proving how materialistic our American society is.

The view of materialism could be easily objected, but on the other hand its much better to see the facts for yourself. From 1995 to 1999, Americans had purchased 77 million cars and light trucks, almost 8 million new homes, 57 million new personal computers and 64 million mobile phones (Samuelson.) According to the reporter, Merrill Lynch, the number of millionaires in the United States and Canada from the year 1997 has risen since 2010 to 2.5 million people (Samuelson.) That is more then enough people to get materialistic with their money. So not only is there not so rich middle-class people wanting all of this and more, but the rich as well. These are the ways that we as Americans have been engraved into every person. We can no longer go to the store without a clean name brand shirt and a wrist watch, or see a movie unless we smell and look good. The materialism is there without any of us even bothering to wonder.

If one thing is for certain, is that inside all of us we want something, and not just any something; something that looks tasty, something that spells H-O-T when you first see it, something that other people would see and get irritated because they don’t have it. Why? Because we’ve all become materialistic, one way or another. Of course not all of us, but I speak for many when I say that I already have my Christmas list for this year. Something so innocent like the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday is now formally known as the time of year when gifts can be bought for lower prices and presents can be given and received; along with “Black Friday.”

Whether it be an insecurity or an opinion of yourself, a wish list or a want list, a feeling of being lesser than another more successful person, or just being flat out hungry for more and more material object to look cool; the fact that Americans are materialist’s is an understatement. We as Americans have a problem with this and before we move on we must come to some agreement with either our own morals, the views of ourselves, or the views of one another, and must do more then just stereotype each other. Materialism has been the growing phenomenon, materialistic is what we’ve become. Americans are the new material.

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