Whoever said money can’t buy happiness? Today, the argument can be made that happiness and consumerism are directly linked. It is fair to say that happiness is a relative term for different people. However, the obtaining of new and shiny things has become such a part of everyday life, that it provides happiness when people are purchasing something new, and causes sadness when no buying is taking place. For many, it seems to be a protective coating against the harsh realities of everyday stresses from a job, or family life.
In fact, the buying frenzy of modern life has become so prevalent, and people have collected so much material, that self storage facilities are becoming one of the most successful and growing retail businesses in America. This is because the average person has purchased so much merchandise that they do not need that their homes and garages can no longer hold the contents of their lives. People would rather go through the time, trouble and expense of maintaining a self storage locker in a dedicated facility or warehouse of some sort. Much of this "stuff" will never see the light of day again, but it serves as a security blanket for those who feel that consumerism validates them and makes them happy. Therefore, the link between consumerism and happiness, at least for some people, is established.
Consumerism has grown to contribute to pop culture, and pop culture has made significant contributions to consumerism as well. Regarding pop culture, Americans as a whole place a tremendous value on material goods and the obtaining of them. Much as the ancient peoples placed a value on crops or spices, we today judge each other, and expect to be treated in a better way, based upon the sheer volume of tangible items that we have accumulated. When watching television, the people who seem to enjoy the biggest acclaim are not always the most talented or the best looking, but are often those who have the most material...
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