Have you ever sat down and really thought about how much you value your possessions? Do you value your belongings more than you value friends, family, love, or yourself? I have put much thought into materialism and maybe others should too.
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I have come to believe that materialism has become a way of life in today’s society.
Materialism has been defined as the theory or doctrine that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life. (Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed.) This means that we look to possessions to bring us happiness. We then use these possessions to make things and people behave or respond the way we desire.
We have become so successful at fabricating and manipulating the world that we have come to believe that altering our surroundings is the way to solve all of our problems. We go through life contemplating that inner well-being depends on what we have or do. Due to these assumptions, materialism now carries the status that people’s religion, occupations, and bloodlines used to carry (Twitchell 1999). We identify ourselves and others by what we wear, what we have, and what brands we sport.
Our unrestrained consumption ascends the unlimited number of goods and merchandise available (Twitchell 1999). As the quantity and variety of products grow
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larger, so does the demand for these products, thus resulting in mass branding. A brand is a product name or logo, that when consumers become familiar with, immediately brings to mind a specific product or service (Pavitt 5).We, as humans, want to fit in so we wear and use certain brand names because of the status we gain from them.
Everywhere we look, there are dozens of newspapers, magazines, billboards, and television and radio shows supporting the belief that happiness can be rendered by money and possessions. Advertisers try to convince their consumers that their product will make them so much happier or that their product will complete their lives and bring them fulfillment. They often draw in the consumers with a catchy commercial that contains a celebrity or model sporting their brand. This is a sure bet way to get the consumers’ attention!