In the article by Dimitre, she writes the following statement - 

"The trouble is children are bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness."

Based on the article, what are some of the factors that have contributed to our rampant materialism in American culture? Do you agree or disagree with the idea that materialism is negatively affecting people (especially young people) in American culture? 

You will make two entries for this blog activity. First, in a well-developed response, answer the above listed questions
citing the article and your prior knowledge as support for your position. Second, choose one blogger's response and expand upon his/her thoughts regarding modern assimilation. Limit two elaborations per initial response; thus, if Jimmy
already has had two people reply to his blog, a third person's blog to Jimmy's response will not be scored. Choose someone ELSE! (Sorry, Jimmy!) 

Be advised: grammar and punctuation are scored as strongly as your ideas, so it is recommended that you type your thoughts in a Word document before posting. 

All responses and elaborations are due by Monday at Midnight!
 


Alleigh Curtis
11/16/2011 18:11

“…on television and other media that we have to have whatever they are advertising and we are what we have…” (Dimitre) I completely agree. Materialism is negatively affecting the people in our society. If an item is being advertised on T.V. people have to have it. They must have the newest technology or item to be “happy.” Some people think that by having fancy, expensive items they will be better than others, especially those who can’t afford much. Also, as the article mentioned, people could be trying to fill the emptiness they may be filling. For whatever reason in their minds always buying merchandise will fill the empty void. Dimitre wrote: “…children are bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness.” This is true. Kids will throw themselves onto the ground, kick and scream until they get what they want. Once they do, they are happy. This happiness lasts for a short period of time, and then the toy is shoved to the back of their closet and in a few weeks they will want something newer and better. This could be, like Dimitre stated, that the children haven’t been taught how to truly be satisfied. Parents don’t spend enough time with their children so they are not able to instill in them basic values. The children are always playing computer games and are occupied with other means of entertainment, taking away their creativity. It could be possible that the kids are influenced by their parents too. “In the headlong pursuit of immediate material prosperity, we are neglecting the vital social infrastructure — the social capital of family and community — that shapes understanding and empathetic behavior in youth and sustains America’s promise to future generations.” — Peter C. Whybrow, M.D., “American Mania.” (Dimitre)

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Ben Enyeart
11/18/2011 15:15

There are numerous factors contributing to rampant materialism in America. "It could be a psychological emptiness that they try to fill. Some people think that they should have whatever they desire — now!" (Dimitre) I agree with this statement completely! People who don’t feel psychologically whole are often the ones who become hoarders in their homes because they can’t bring themselves to throw anything away. They become excruciatingly attached to simple items like toothbrushes and bowling balls. "Does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses?" (Dimitre) With this statement in mind, I truly believe that materialism is negatively affecting young people in America. So many people in our High School are too attached to their iPods and their cell phones to be focused in school. It does not help that parents are giving their children cell phones when they are in 4th and 5th grade, as this is only helping to support materialism. If we could get elementary, middle, and high school students to simply stay off of their cell phones, or their iPods, or their laptops, or computers, or even their TV’s at home, then we might be able to make ourselves give up the things that we don't need to have.

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Ben Enyeart
11/18/2011 15:36

@Alleigh
What you’re saying is that everybody wants to appear better by buying fancier things, and that we can never be truly satisfied with what we already have. You also seem to be talking about how in childhood we are never taught to be satisfied with what we have, and I feel that both of these are true. As children, there are few to no parents who teach their kids to be satisfied with what they have. The root of materialism takes hold in our childhood condition. "Kids will throw themselves onto the ground, kick and scream until they get what they want. Once they do, they are happy. This happiness lasts for a short period of time, and then the toy is shoved to the back of their closet and in a few weeks they will want something newer and better." (Alleigh) I feel like this quote alone expresses the beliefs of what the entire article is about. Nobody can break away from the hold of materialism, and the only way we can stop it is to start with our children.

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Katelynn Horn
11/19/2011 02:15

The American Dream-opportunities galore, an average picture of it these days would be a nice house, a newer car, a college education, and along the way gaining a collection of numerous items. Many may believe that this dream is essential for happiness. A large part of this modern American dream is fueled by the constant want of stuff. At first it starts out with I only want the I phone 3, and then it turns into… I am in a dire need of the I phone 4, “Some people think that they should have whatever they desire- now!” The crave for material possessions is unsettling and negatively affecting our culture. Youth grow up surrounded by narcissistic media, encouraging them to buy the latest and greatest because it will improve them as a person overall. Buying fancy new gizmos isn’t bad. However, believing you NEED all that stuff for happiness will only lead to happiness for an instant or maybe two. M.D. Peter Whybrow stated “…we are neglecting the vital social infrastructure — the social capital of family and community — that shapes understanding and empathetic behavior in youth and sustains America’s promise to future generations.” We value materialistic items sometimes more than the people in our life. Parents don’t always set the best examples for their children when they spend their life collecting stuff in an attempt to be happy or impress others.

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Abbie Adams
11/19/2011 12:30

Some factors that have contributed to our rampant materialism in American culture are that we seem to “bow down to power” (Dimitre 1) and it isn’t the power you think of; it is the power of enterprise, and success. It is amazing to me that we seem to accept that “we are what we have” (4) and not we are what our personality is. We also could be trying to fill up an empty hole in our psyche or we could be trying to impress others and “compete for status” (5).
Yes, I agree that materialism is negatively affecting people, specifically children, because, based off of my own observations, children seem to be on their electronics more than enjoying life and creating their own projects. Dimitre seems to agree when she writes, “does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses?”(7) I, for one, am glad that my mom didn’t stick me in front of a TV when I was younger and glad that she gave me supplies to do my own activities.

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Alleigh Curtis
11/20/2011 12:55

Response to Katelynn
I agree with everything that you said in your entry. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but when a person believes that owning these items is essential to survive, then that becomes a problem."Youth grow up surrounded by narcissistic media, encouraging them to buy the latest and greatest because it will improve them as a person overall." (Katelynn)Having this kind of influence is not healthy for today's youths. They could end up becoming self absorbed people who are always trying to make others jealous with the materials they posses.

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Josh Wall
11/20/2011 13:34

¬Based on the article, the main factors that have led to our countries rampant materialism are; the advancements in technology and today’s parents not taking the time to instill in their children the gratification that comes from a hard day’s work.
“Does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses? These days, how much time do kids spend with anyone who makes the effort to instill in them the basic values that lead to lasting contentment and fulfillment?” – Dorothy Dimitre
With the recent advancements in technology, more and more kids are beginning to gain less enjoyment out of the basic things in life, and instead spend their days inside playing video games or surfing the web. However, even with the new technology, kids are not learning the beauty of life from their elders, whether it be a parent or an older friend. The beauty of life is to be working toward something and to put your heart and soul into it, and at the end of the day you have a feeling of accomplishment that you have added to this world, not because you leveled up in your favorite video game.
I agree with Dorothy Dimitre, and believe that the main cause of our current economic situation is because of America’s rampant materialism. From the lowest low class, to the highest upper class, people are spending money on unnecessary items. Fortunately for the upper class they have the money to waste, but the lower class does not. Instead they go out buy things that they cannot afford, with loans that they cannot pay the payments. When no one is paying their payments to the banks, the banks go under, and from there the rest of the economy begins to crumble.

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Josh Wall
11/20/2011 13:44

Response to Abbie:
I agree with Abbie and she brings up a good point that the materialism is essentially us, the American people, and bowing down to the large corporations. However, I do not believe that this means that we should get rid of all of our large corporations such as McDonalds; I believe that this just means that our society needs to make it easier to start your own business. In China, you can literally, walk of an airplane and have your very own business started before the end of the day. Now I do not think that we should follow China’s example because the small business are not very successful for a long time but the fact of the matter is that they are started. In America, it takes days, sometimes weeks, even months to get even the most basic businesses up and running because of the steps our government puts them through. If it were easier to start your own business, then there would be more competition for the large corporations and our society would not be so reliant on them.

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Evie Showalter
11/20/2011 15:02

Personally, I observe many factors that have led to rampant materialism in society. One factor that Dimitre points out is money, and how being rich does not result in happiness. She quotes Wilkinson and Pickett, “The problems in rich counties are not caused by the society not being rich enough but by the scale of material differences between people within each society being too big ...” With all the material made and in demand even rich people have trouble keeping up with “what is in”. Which leads to the next factor that is the king of materialism; Fashion. How many teenagers have you seen wearing Hollister or other well known brands just because the company has been categorized as the “cool” place to shop? Or how many girls have you seen wearing real UGG boots because they do not want to be seen wearing the cheaper off-brand? Just like Dimitre states, “How many purchases are made to impress others? From granite countertops and BMWs to watches and handbags, it seems many people compete for status.” People have gotten the idea that if they are all about fashion, they are complete and have succeeded. But in what? Succeeded in spending an unreasonable amount of money for something that will just be replaced by another item considered better in only a few months? Fashion is a never ending circle of doom, waste, and materialism; a plan probably invented by a greedy company who found it easy to suck in unhappy individuals and promise them everything just by spending money. “But how can our corporate interests succeed unless materialism is rampant? Doesn’t the success of our free enterprise system depend upon corporate interests and vendors of all kinds convincing consumers that our worth depends upon what we buy, how we look and what we own?” I definitely agree that materialism is negatively affecting people in American culture. I see kids still in middle school obsessed with Facebook like it is their bible. This generation is not going to be able to teach their kids any different when they did not learn themselves when they were young. Parents too lazy to entertain their own child and just give them an iPod to play with are not good examples. Social interaction means so much more than what score you got on Angry Birds. However, I feel as the generations go by our idea of materialism seems to be getting more acceptable, and even more rampant.

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Evie Showalter
11/20/2011 15:22

Response to Josh
I agree with your statement, “Fortunately for the upper class they have the money to waste, but the lower class does not. Instead they go out buy things that they cannot afford, with loans that they cannot pay the payments.” To expand further on this idea, I now see why the upper and lower classes are so far apart. While the rich can simply go out and make a couple million more in a short amount of time, the not-so-rich fall through with payments to the point they cannot pick themselves up. Materialism is, not jokingly, the demise of some individuals and their families. Also I agree with your position that kids are getting less enjoyment from basic experiences in life. Our generation would rather go see the new twilight movie than go camping for the weekend.

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Matt Kmetz
11/20/2011 20:08

I agree with the ideal that materialism negatively affects people in our American culture. It seems as if people in American society today try to compete against one another in getting the most up to date invention in the market. I strongly believe that it is because “people compete for status” thinking that “they are entitled to all they can accumulate because they are better that others” (Dimitre). In my experience it is all physiological, when a person sees another with a nice car for example, he comes to think that someone is rich, and can afford other materialistic items. In response, the first person will want to get himself a nice car as well, to show society that he is rich also when in reality he is not. To the first person it does not matter that he knows he is not rich, it only matters to him when others around him think he is rich, that way he could sustain the illusion of a higher status of hierarchy, giving him more mental and social power over those around him. For the most part this is how people in American culture view each other, based on their materialistic possessions establishing a rank of hierarchy. Thus negatively affecting the ideal of the “American Dream” (being prosperity and success) into the ideal of needing to be better off than those around you.

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Cami Kockritz
11/20/2011 21:03

Dorothy Dimitre’s idea of ‘rampant materialism’ is easily justified in her article; though some may argue that materialism stimulates our economy and “the success of our free enterprise system depend upon corporate interests and vendors”, the negative effects of materialism to the American people surpass the positives. One of the base factors that has resulted in a thriving materialistic culture is competition and the inner need to be the best. The American people have developed the idea that “the best” is commensurable to having the most, the newest, and most expensive stuff. In paragraph three Dimitre goes on to write “...it seems many people compete for status. Some think they are entitled to all that they can accumulate because they are better than others.” Another influential factor of the never ending cycle of materialism is due to parents insufficient description of what happiness is and how to find it. These children are “...bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness.” Dimitre realizes the error in this way of thinking. I agree that materialism is negatively affecting America, specifically the younger generations. Dimitre questions materialism and the affects it has on young people by stating “Does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses?” The way career choices are being created is possibly the most significant affect of materialism; many years ago parents would commonly tell their children to choose a job that they love and makes them happy. In the most recent years however, this statement has changed to something along the lines of “Choose a job that makes a lot of money, hopefully you’ll love it.” The national epidemic that is materialism will continue to consume the American people’s daily lives, especially if the youth of today are raised to believe that the key to happiness is materialism.

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Cami Kockritz
11/20/2011 21:48

Response to Evie’s blog post:

I agree with your observation on fashion and how it feeds into the basis of materialism. Those whom are concerned with outward appearance and apparel are proof of that, with common statements such as “Those are so last season.” The social pressure of looking cool/fly/dope/fresh/etc. is another contributable factor of materialism, which Evie previously covered in her post by stating: “How many teenagers have you seen wearing Hollister or other well known brands just because the company has been categorized as the “cool” place to shop?”

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Devin Truesdell
11/20/2011 22:01

Watch a music video. In doing so, you will see exactly what the popular style trend is. For instance, when we see a Hip-Hop musician in a music video wearing baggy jeans and chains, people want to be like that musician because he shows he's had success. What is portrayed in the media and pop culture is what everyone wants to be like. If a popular musician wears a certain shoe, then the majority of youth want to wear that shoe. They want to relate to that artist. That's how it's always been, that's why we have fashion trends. There's a reason why we don't dress the same now as we did in the 80's. In my book, music is the number one contributor to material things. Think of all the musical artists popular during the 80's: Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Guns and Roses. Long hair, jeans, and torn clothing was the style while these bands were popular. Now look who we have; artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. All these are mainstream artists now days, all these associate with converse, vans, and snap-back hats. What was popular in the 80s is not popular now, and there is nothing wrong with that. I disagree that materialism negatively affects people. Is there really anything wrong with the way teens dress now days? You may not like it because it's different . We always try to make materialism out to be a terrible thing, but the way you dress expresses who you are. "We must try to bring about a shift in public values so that instead of inspiring admiration and envy, conspicuous consumption is seen as part of the problem, a sign of greed and unfairness that damages society and the planet.” I don't see any envy or greed, what I see is a group of social adolescents who are simply following the trend and what is mainstream during their youth. "The trouble is, children are bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness". When I read this I thought what kids are they talking about? The only kids I know who think material things are the key to happiness are wealthy kids who already get what they want and are spoiled so it gets in their brain that they're happy only when they have everything they want, because that's how they were raised. There are people out there who disagree with the mainstream trend, and they happily say that they don't follow the trend. They don't "envy " those who have things they don't have. I think people develop their own style, whether that be relative to the mainstream trend or not.

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Devin Truesdell
11/20/2011 22:13

In response to Cami's article

I agree when Cami says Another influential factor of the never ending cycle of materialism is due to parents insufficient description of what happiness is and how to find it because parents who buy their kids things over and over are only buying their kids love. The child will only learn to say i love you when their parents provide them with gifts. On the flip side, I think its good for people to work for things they want. It teaches determination, if you want something, work for it. Earning that item will make the individual proud of what they worked for thus being the reason for their happiness. I believe materialism is the judgement of one anothers material things such as wealth, but in this economy, no one really has wealth so that judgement is really there no longer

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Katelynn Horn
11/20/2011 22:30

In response to Devin:
You make a great point on how materials express who we are and we often times buy the same clothing as music stars because we admire them and think they are stylish. Often times, we only hear the terrible sides of materialism: that because we have possesions and nice, newer clothes we must be bad. However, there are many who get caught up in the want and need for material items until it becomes an addiction. Rather than expressing yourself you are fueling that "emptiness." I agree with you on kids thinking that material possesions are the key to happiness depends on how they are raised. Most kids I know love their families more than their toys or other items because their family has taught them that materialistic items dont have as much value as real people and other spirital aspects of life.

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Bryan Zacharias
11/21/2011 18:17

One of the main causes in the youth’s rampant materialism is that no one “teach[es] kids... that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses” (Demitre). The reason why many people don’t take the time to teach the youth this is because materialism has become core to human nature. Children grow up around parents and acquaintances who are victims of rampant materialism themselves, as Demitre says “The trouble is children are bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness" (Demitre). How many of our parents have bought that decorative furniture just to make the living room look nice? How many people do you know have a collection of some sort? Today’s society has grown up with the idea to want more than they need, because the previous generation did, and the generation before that, and the generation before that, and so on. Materialism has imprinted itself on us.
Materialism does have a negative impact on us. Instead of going for spiritual learning or personal development, one would go instead for physical “trophies” that they can look at and show off. We may grow dependent to this idea, and will become much more competitive, trying to get the better-than-the-rest “trophy” to shine greater than others, instead of pursuing knowledge and understanding.

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Alex Kastner
11/21/2011 18:28

Today in American society, the idea of having an abundance of materialistic things is frowned upon. We feel that if we do not have what others have, we feel inadequate. To me, that idea is true but also false. People live within their means. They don’t need things to satisfy them. To others, they need materialistic things to please them. To me, this people make me sick. They go around a flash and flaunt what they have. Over time, many factors have gone into rejecting the need for too much. Ever since this country has had economic problems, people have changed their minds over the course of time. For example, the 1980s had a pretty bad downturn. People needed to limit what they bought. When things started to pick up though, spending occurred. Now, the CEO of companies are the ones spending. The middle class has had to diminish what they spend. Until the debt and troubles flip, I don’t think we will see many people spending more than what they need to. To younger people, I could see this idea as the opposite view. Kids see others with more and they feel “lame”. What they don’t understand is the economical points behind spending. I’m not saying we should institute economics into earlier grades than what it is set at, they just need to know what they have is special and cherish the small things.

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Alex
11/21/2011 18:30

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Alex Kastner
11/21/2011 18:35

@Matt
I agree with what you are saying. People today feel the urge to compete. They feel that the winner is the one with more things. People only do buy fancy things to gloat and show people up. We need to go back and limit what people buy and how much they buy. Other countries do this why can’t we? To the American dream, the idea now is skewed to the richest person. People coming here from other countries cannot obtain it easily because they have to endure poverty.

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Matt Kmetz
11/21/2011 18:45

In response to Ben’s post:
I agree with your post, especially when you mentioned, “If we could get elementary, middle, and high school students to simply stay off of their cell phones, or their iPods, or their laptops, or computers, or even their TV’s at home, then we might be able to make ourselves give up the things that we don't need to have” (Ben). It seems as if many students today are too preoccupied with their electronic devices to take the time to realize that they do not need those devices to achieve happiness in life. If all those students were to give up on their electronic devices it seems likely that they would find the time to appreciate what life has to offer and “take the time to smell the roses” (Dimitre).

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Bryan Zacharias
11/21/2011 18:46

Response to Matt Kmetz
I do agree with your statement that people have come to accept the ideal to become better than those around you. And from reading your post, I’ve come to realize that’s the reason why competitive marketing exists. It’s the reason why we don’t just have a single company to manufacture one thing; another company has got to spring up to say “Hey! Ours is better than theirs, don’t be like that guy who has their thing, be better than them!” Materialism has become that integrated into our culture. We always have to try to be better than that guy, and the way to show that, like you said, is by the possessions we own.

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Jacklyn Armstrong
11/21/2011 19:17

Materialism has been a growing issue within our country for years due to many contributing factors, and for that reason I fully agree with Dimitre’s article. Bigger, better, newer things are coming out all the time and everyone believes they cannot live without them! “But how can our corporate interests succeed unless materialism is rampant?”(Dimitre) Today’s youth is definitely the target in modern ads and campaigns, and therefore they are directly affected by this impending need to have everything waiting for them at their fingertips. However, there are many that can’t afford all these new and improved items; this leaves many kids with that feeling of, I’m not cool because I am not able to shop at Hollister, or Abercrombie and Fitch, and I don’t own the new generation of the iPhone etc. If you don’t wear the latest and greatest from a name brand store or own a brand new, shiny piece of technology, then as a youth you are socially shunned. “How many purchases are made to impress others?” I fear the answer to this question cannot be found; the number is far too large and will only feed the vicious, narcissistic cycle our country has only begun to experience.

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Danny Malone
11/21/2011 19:23

Some factors that have contributed to our modern day American society’s lust for material items (based on the article by Dorothy Dimitre) is how our children are raised. They grow up believing that instant gratification is the only source of true happiness and not simple things in life. Dorothy continues with the example of iPhone sales, the day of its release. She also brings up a rather good point I personally did not think of in too much depth; “How many purchases are made to impress others? From granite countertops and BMWs to watches and handbags, it seems many people compete for status.” The idea of competition in culture is perfectly clear without too much thought on the topic. Sure, having a nice car, nice clothes etc. can bring you self gratification; but why? Because you can look at it and feel “cool” which is just another way of saying an ability to strut around and boast about your material items which truly, mean nothing about your person. All this in mind, I agree that the mind set of instant gratification being important is decaying out American culture, particularly the younger generation (including myself). I find this true for myself, people around me, close friends, and family; most of us if not all, at least once in our life, want more. We want to show off something. When we get the next hot phone, a thought that runs a crossed everyone’s mind is what is every one going to think of it. Sometimes, before you established what you think of it. Which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t always a bad thing, however, when it’s what we are basing our happiness on as a culture, then it becomes an issue. Dorothy seems to place blame on the parents slightly on and off in her article; “Does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses?” after this question proposed I started to believe that yes, parents are responsible for this but not entirely. Growing up in such an environment will attach itself to who you become. That’s unavoidable. How can our civilization progress as a whole if we have no sense of who we are, and true happiness, if we’re defined by our purchases? This, I do not know.

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Danny Malone
11/21/2011 19:30

@Jacklyn Armstrong I feel as your response summed so much up in such little space. Youth and even sometimes adults feel that when they do not have what everyone else whats them to have they are somehow an outcast or not living up to their own potential. It's ridiculous. Simple as that. Also, when you mentioned modern campaigns and ads, i could think of multiple ads on the spot of this doing.

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Jacklyn Armstrong
11/21/2011 19:38

@ Ben

I agree with the last part of your statement. You make a very good point by saying, "So many people in our High School are too attached to their iPods and their cell phones to be focused in school." However, I think you missed the point in the beginning of your overall statement, and started to give an opinion on a totally different subject. Hoarding is not directly linked, or part of materialism. Materialism is more like the want for all new and improved items, and getting those items for that exact reason. The psychological emptiness you speak of is a great factor to bring to our societies attention; I just think you need to find a different way to expand on that point.

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Abbie Adams
11/21/2011 20:35

@Bryan


I agree with you that the generations before accumulated items and it has been imprinted upon us, or to put it another way, imprinted on to our DNA. It seems to be one of those things that we as a nation can’t really shake no matter how hard we try. I also agree that everyone wants a “trophy” to show off so that they can have the latest and greatest to win the daily “contest” of life. We never can win this contest though because new things are coming out every day and someone else will have something better tomorrow.

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Ethan Oomittuk
11/21/2011 22:15

From the article, Dimitre writes “Doesn’t exploiting narcissistic tendencies in the unsuspecting make it all better?” Narcissism being: excessive love or admiration of oneself. Knowing that we will do virtually anything in our power to make ourselves look as prestigious as possible, big name companies will market new products that appeal to our sense of narcissism. By doing so, we have created a world where instant gratification is just our way of life and we no longer take the time to “smell the roses.” Proof is found later on when Dimitre writes “we hear that 4 million of the new iPhones were sold in the first three days that they were available. I am not blaming Apple or Microsoft for our problem with instant gratification, the blame belongs to ourselves for having the weakness for the businesses to exploit. Personally, I see the negative effects of materialism everyday whether it be kids texting in class when the should be studying or when they sit at home on Facebook or Twitter when they should be doing their homework.

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Stephanie Massey
11/21/2011 22:20

There are countless factors that contribute to the ongoing need for materialism in the modern day American Society. I agree with Dimitre. Sometimes we tend to confuse our "needs" and "wants". "There is a clear distinction between both. Some people think that they should have whatever they desire — now!" The need for materialism is sadly affecting our society. The younger generation seems to appeal to the daily media intakes. When we surround ourselves with materialistic items we think thats all it takes to make us happy, but in truth, we really aren't happy at all. Happiness isn't determined through all the items we can own. The generation sets the example that status is everything. Owning the newest and best technology is whats going to make you a happier person. We fall into habit of buying things as soon as they come out, thats not how it should be. Although, materials can represent our hard work, that can be a positive. "How many purchases are made to impress others?" The need to impress others based on a materialistic item can negatively affect us as a person in general. We take away from what is truly important in Society.

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Morgan Connelly
11/21/2011 22:23

I believe there are many factors that have contributed to our rampant materialism in American culture. A few examples, specifically in Dimitrie's article, "The trouble is, children are bombarded from day one with the message that they must have everything and instant gratification is the way to happiness. " This is true! According to a study done by Norman Herr,Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles C.Phil. University of California, Davis
M.S. University of California, Davis B.S. University of California, Irvine, Professor of science education, California State University, the average child will see 20,000 30 second commercials in one year. How could that not be effecting them? As Dimitre states, "Seems few of those who are in charge of children recognize the folly of such deprivation when half of the brain isn’t being well utilized. Does anyone teach kids anymore that true happiness does not come from materialism, but from good relationships, rewarding occupations and taking time to smell the roses? These days, how much time do kids spend with anyone who makes the effort to instill in them the basic values that lead to lasting contentment and fulfillment? " I really like this paragraph because it addresses the parents that are supposed to be teaching these kids that materialism isn't everything! I don't see much of this happening and I definitely don't see the positive effects. All I am seeing is spoiled kids running around thinking they can have everything.

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Morgan Connelly
11/21/2011 22:28

@ Danny Malone;
Very good points! I like that you reminded us of how many purchases are to impress others. I completely agree. and I agree when you were tallking about getting something new and having self gratification, but why? I really do think its because it makes us feel cool and makes us feel better than other people almost. Which to think about is very saddening.

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Ethan Oomittuk
11/21/2011 22:32

@ Ben I like how you point out “there are numerous factors contributing to rampant materialism” and how you came up with a possible solution. But here is the “million dollar question” How do you fight an idea that is already imprinted in a persons mind? You say “If we could get elementary, middle, and high school students to simply stay off of their cell phones, or their iPods, or their laptops, or computers, or even their TV’s at home, then we might be able to make ourselves give up the things that we don't need to have.” But does this solution really seem plausible? Can we have our youth “simply” choose to abstain from technology?

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Kristin Hancock
11/21/2011 23:09

After reading Dorothy Dimitre's article called "Rampant Materialism", it becomes apparent how materialistic the world has become. I could not agree more with Dimitre’s point of view. Society today has becomes entirely too dependent on the little things in life to make us happy. However this type of happiness is not long lasting. Dimitre writes “How many purchases are made to impress others? From granite countertops and BMWs to watches and handbags, it seems many people compete for status.” With that being said, individuals’ minds are manipulated into thinking that status and success are only achieved through the new fab items. Today’s trend soon becomes old news, and bigger and better items are at arm’s length. It soon becomes a vicious cycle that never draws to a closure. Every person can be considered materialistic in some manner, whether it is through technology, clothing, vehicles or accessories, humans are never happy with the bare necessities.

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Kristin Hancock
11/21/2011 23:21

@ Jacklyn Armstrong
I completely agree with you. Individuals, but specifically teenagers are easily manipulated by media into “needing” the newest creations. Status and popularity are often incorporated with the idea of owning these said items, which should not be the case. As Dimitre pointed out, “…few children learn how to get satisfaction from creative play and other activities that help them challenge their minds and satisfy their need to develop their abilities.” Why is it that satisfaction was achieved in the past through creative thinking and basic feel good activities? However in this day of age, satisfaction of children is only reached through video games and television.

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