Defining oneself through material objects and outside perceptions

October 5, 2009
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Defining, a person’s being becomes an issue at a certain point in their life. It might start in college, high school or even primary school. Most of the time, whenever it starts, the expression of defining oneself happens subliminally. It happens subliminally by the choice of clothes, color of hair, type of cell phone and so on. They do not realize that their modified tastes are a reflection of other people’s perception. Defining, one’s own person through material objects and people’s views, for fear of disenfranchisement by their peer groups is very apparent today through needless attachment to technological devices namely cell phones.

From the time a person is born, they will experience some form of judgment. Some will say the size of their eyes is too big. Others will say blond hair is better then brown. It’s the cycle of judgment that happens to us all. How we handle it, depends on the level of inner strength and the ability to notice when, those subliminal signs of disliking oneself appear. As a young child it starts with the wrong type of play truck or Barbie. A child might point out, “ My truck is yellow. Why is yours blue?” This statement will cause the child possessing the blue truck to think something is wrong with having a different color, which eventually stems into the child thinking they must cave into peer pressure. Maybe, for a girl her Barbie’s hair shows a brown coloring instead of blond. Her best friend might complain of the Barbie’s different features. This is the beginning of the changing in one’s perception, towards themselves from negative perceptions projected from others. The little boy might start being more careful in his choices for fearing of being outcast. The little girl when old enough might dye her hair blond due to the memory of the disdain directed towards the brown haired Barbie. That is the first part of the changing of one’s true self to a synthetic image.
One of the major issues today, is material possession equating with one’s worth. Since, the 1990’s, technology appeared more prevalent in our daily society. First, beepers, then cell phones. The amazing cell phone, which connected people with each other faster, supposedly making us less disunified. In truth, the outcome: people finding another way to judge each other. The type of cell phone replaced brand name clothes. Now, in 2009 cell phones seem to hold unlimited potential at what they can accomplish for their owners. The cell phone has created more pressures for people. If someone refuses to possess a cell phone, they risk being treated as piranha, even worse losing their job sometimes. Many jobs started making it mandatory for their employees to possess cell phones for constant contact with their employers. It became an invisible chain holding the person hostage by their employer. The majority of the 13-18year old category possess a cell phone. Why do so many feel the need to keep one? According to Harris interactive and CTIA research, 47% off teens “say their social life would end or be worsened without their cell phone, and nearly six in 10 (57%) credit their mobile device with improving their life,” The cell phone phone has become psychologically detrimental for these teens. Cell phones equate to social life, not possessing a cell phone equates to loneliness. No one wants to be alone.

Cell Phone companies have found a way to capitalize on people’s need to assimilate based on peer pressure, with subliminal chains of fear, including rejection from friends. This causes, avid cell phone users to purchase more expensive phones every year. The four leading cell phone companies, grossed approximately, 40.54 billion dollars on people’s fear of social disapproval from their peer groups. In my opinion, people are becoming like the “surrogates “ in
the new Bruce Willis film. This is causing, a empathetic disconnect amongst people. Promoting
more deception without guilt amongst peer groups, harming innocent people.

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