The youth of today seem to be materialistic, caring only about what kinds of bags, shoes, clothing, and jewelry to wear, what types of cars to drive and what gadgets to have, or which things are trendy and expensive. All these are then well-documented and shared on social media, and the pressure to look good and own fancy things has never been higher and more common.
Materialism has psychological effects, such as low self-esteem, and vulnerability to peer pressure. Many young people have a strong desire to fit in with their peers. They believe that one way to do so is to have the same things that others have. And if they don’t they fear being ousted or left alone, youths with low self-esteem are more likely to be more materialistic. They use things to make themselves happy. Materialism may also affect the brain development of young people.
Once a young person becomes used to getting what he wants, he tends to want more and more, instead of appreciating what he has. He doesn’t think about the consequences, such as arrested development from focusing on unnecessary things instead of developing his brain, finding out who he is and learning what he can give to the world. He may be unaware that his constant demands might cause financial difficulties, and he might not realize his selfishness.
According to a 2007 survey reported by Reuters, 74 percent of teens are materialistic and said that they would be happier if they had “more money to spend on themselves.” It can be and it is troublesome for parents to see their children valuing things unnecessarily rather than striving to be better person.
Based on interviews with random people, materialism has bad effects on young people. It creates a lack of discipline in youths, which may lead to bullying and to a disrespectful manner toward others. Materialism is also one of the reasons why the crime rate is very high, as Adelaida Manglal-lan says.
Youths are not born materialistic, but made that way.
Lan Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at University of Illinois at Chicago believes that this is a serious societal trend, and receiving emotional support from parents and peers is a solution.
As youth, our development starts within our home; our family and our parents give us guidance. They teach us, and provide us with what we need to become better, successful people.
“Spend time with your children and model warmth, gratitude, and generosity to help curb materialism,” Chaplin says.
Instead of asking for money from our parents to buy things we want, we should spend time having fun with our families. We, should know our limitations, and know first our needs rather than our wants.
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