America and Materialism

785 Words2 Pages

In the past years more and more people are starting to believe that America is turning into a materialistic society. This is in fact true because, as the years pass, we as Americans are becoming increasingly materialistic. We buy things that we “want” but do not necessarily “need’. It seems that we are beginning to care more and more about trends and what is “in the new” or what is “popular”. Many people say that Americans are simply overly materialistic. Although this is true, such a claim is, in fact, too simplistic.
There are many factors that drive Americans to be so materialistic. One example can be found in the media. With influence of social media, we have created these social classes that we put others and ourselves in, such as rich and poor, or, pretty and ugly. Most of the time, we determine who fits in each of these “classes” by what he or she has and what he or she looks like. If they are beautiful or have an immense amount of expensive “things” like cars, jewelry, or suits and dresses we see that individual as being rich. And if one does not possess those things than he or she is seen as poor or unprivileged. So we begin to start this competition of who has the most “stuff”. In her essay titled, Shopping and Other Spiritual Adventures in America Today, Phyllis Rose writes about how many believe that shopping is a form of therapy and that she believes one does not really need to buy another sweater. She believes that, “ You need the power that comes with buying or not buying it.” How many times does an individual want to buy something for the sole purpose of showing it off to their friends and family or to receive compliments from strangers on the street? We as humans “want” and “need” attention, even if we have to ...

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Though it is unfortunate that we spend our money so carelessly and foolishly it seems that there is no stopping this. As long as the critics and media force these new products on to us saying that we “have to” buy it because the product is “in the new” or is “popular” we will not be able to escape this materialistic society of ours. The American dream has become something far more different than it was intended to be. American’s are not simply overly materialistic. It is much more complicated than that. Our materialism comes from the influence of society and their social classes and from the people and critics who focus so much on these chain stores. Or the fact that people feel like they must buy these things to make themselves feel better or to show off to other friends as if they were in a competition of who has the most unnecessary “thing”.

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