Materialism is one of the main aspects of someone’s life. The true reasons people want to make money and start a career is predominantly to buy new things. These things people buy could be a certain pair of shoes, a type of phone, or even an app to download.
What these three things have in common is the fact that there’s a trend that’s set which makes people get these things.
Think about it, the BB wave when I was in school ended up with nearly everybody I knew on BBM, having bought a Blackberry, by the end of the year.
The current ‘wave’ is the iPhone wave. Anybody who has an iPhone would know that they’re not really that amazing, but due to trends, here we are riding the iPhone wave.
You may or may not have read my recent two-part posts on how technology affects today’s society, if not, click here .
This blog is going to be about materialism and how our generation is affected by it, with my views on why this may be…
Who Sets The Trends?
Trends and materialism work hand in hand. Just to make sure, I am not against materialism, I have an iPhone, I wear branded clothes, I’m just saying my point of view on how I personally think it works in general.
It could start off with a celebrity like Michael Jordan for example. He is the founder of Air Jordans and is an icon in the basketball world. His influence on his fans led to them becoming obsessed with him and the brand he created.
His influence led to the Jordan wave, which still goes on today, but has died down a little. But I do remember back in year 9, so probably 2012, most of my year was obsessed with Jordans and nearly everyone used to wear them on non-uniform day, either them or Air Forces, no in between.
It was the same with Just Do It bags, around 9/10 kids in my school, actually, in London, at that time, had the exact same bag, because of the trend. Now trends can be set when a certain person starts wearing something as an endorsement (marketing), or if a significant majority start doing or wearing a certain thing.
Now that we got the reasons why trends start, let’s discuss why people would want to follow one in the first place…
Why Do People Follow Trends?
People follow trends usually because a friend, or a group of friends is doing so. For example, if someone is talking about Big Brother and someone else hasn’t watched it, it will make them feel potentially left out and can, and usually does, lead to that person going home and watching the same show, to be more socially accepted, or in other words, to fit in.
This next point isn’t applicable all the time, but it is often true. People’s insecurities lead to people living a certain way, eating a certain way, dressing, speaking and acting a certain way, in order to fit in and not get left out.
This is evident in school, as any shoes you wear which aren’t Wallabees, Kickers or Black trainers is, or was, as I remember, considered as rubbish shoes…
Once you look into it from an outsider’s perspective, it’s a bit strange why people would follow trends to fit in. We are all born unique, with our own opinions, dress sense, and personalities, to name a few. We may on occasions think similar to some individuals for some apsects, but every single one of us has a unique and different mind regardless.
So despite all these factors, why do we insist on following these trends and buying the same products as each other?
It’s a question I can’t give an exact answer to. It could’ve started in school with uniforms reducing individualism, or advertising, there’s no real answer, just thoughts and opinions…
Something that we do in fact know for sure is that materialism is destroying individualism as many people are no longer completely unique to their own selves; A bit of everyone is rubbed off on a person as they put on their Jordans and call their friend on their iPhone.
By all means let people influence you, but positively. Changing your own taste in things, due to what everyone else is doing, is unhealthy. It could lead to a constant sense of not being good enough and always having to change yourself for another person or group of people.
Materialism isn’t too bad as long as you stay true to yourself and don’t revolve your life too much around possessions. Possessions are not what make you happy, money is not what makes you happy, health, good people and peace make you happy.
That was another ‘Thought Thursday’ from the Mizfit, subscribe or be here next week’s insight into how I think…