They say that money makes the world go round. And indeed it does as without money, life would be very difficult as in today’s society, nothing is free. The side effect however is that people are becoming more materialistic; more concerned with making money and what money can buy. But how much money is enough? Is it ever enough? To some, it will never be enough. In my opinion, I truly believe that this statement is true and that people are becoming more materialistic in nature. In this essay, I will discuss how materialism has affected modern society’s way of life on an individual level, the country’s economy as well as our spiritual and moral beliefs.
First and foremost, each individual is affected by materialism to some extent in this day and age because hedonism is becoming an uprising trend. This is because today’s generation are geared towards making more and more money so that they can enjoy the carefree lifestyle that is so popular these days. Moreover, people now are striving to earn more income in order to afford things that are more expensive and branded. For example, people spend their hard earned money on material objects like genuine LV and Coach handbags, expensive gadgets like Iphones and Tablet pcs and so on which in my opinion is a waste of money when regular goods may prove to be good enough. Therefore, while individuals become more focussed on their pursuit of material wealth and improving their standard of living, they may forget that what matters most in life is quality time spent with family and friends and not the quantity of their material goods.
Secondly, when society starts spending in a materialistic manner it will surely have a domino effect on the country’s economy. This means that the spending power of society will help boost the economy and create more business opportunities for the booming trade. However, when a society overspends, using plastic money or credit cards, or when they take loans they cannot afford to repay, then the country’s debt margin will be higher. For instance, USA today is facing an economic crisis because banks have approved home loans to people who aspire to own bigger houses than they can actually afford and this is causing the collapse of the country’s economy there. Thus, while a society’s spending habits helps our economy to grow, overspending due to materialism will have an adverse effect to the country’s financial stability.
Last but not least, materialism affects our spiritual and moral beliefs. This is due to the fact people who are materialistic may become ‘amoral’ whereby they disregard their spiritual and moral upbringing and instead turn to crime to satisfy their materialistic needs. In fact, the crime rate is increasing because criminals these days have developed many ways to gain more money from society. Take for example, there are more reports of snatch thefts, burglaries, kidnapping for ransom, credit card fraud, internet banking hacking and others that are driven by materialistic criminals. Hence, when people lose sight of their spiritual and moral beliefs and believe instead in the greed of materialism, therefore the crime rate is bound to increase.
In a nutshell, materialism is a common agenda in the 21st century as more people are working hard to afford things beyond their reach. While this may spur individuals to work harder to improve their standard of living, overspending due to materialism may cause the downfall of a country’s economy and their morality. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that materialism has a strong hold on today’s society; both positive and negative effects. Our government can encourage society to be less frivolous and wasteful in spending by running campaigns such as ‘Consumer Awareness’ and ‘Buy Malaysian Made Products’ in order to educate our younger generation for the prosperity of our nation.