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Why teenagers are materialistic

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by Elizabeth A. Marion
Created on: June 02, 2010

Not very many people other than teenagers would deny that kids become more self-centered when they become teenagers. They become more concerned with spending quality time with their friends and less concerned with spending quality time with their family. They become more obsessed with the celebrity world and less interested in the real world. And they convince themselves that no one has ever faced an identity crisis like they have and that no one understands.

This is, to an extent, quite a generalization, but teens do go through some phases. They don't always become selfish or rebellious, but they do usually become more materialistic. While most attribute being materialistic to being self-centered, materialism is not the same thing as selfishness. Materialism is placing a lot of value in owning things, in having possessions. Wanting to have things, especially in a society that places a lot of importance on having the latest trendy things, is normal and doesn't always make a person selfish. It's hard not to be materialistic, no matter how selfless you are.

How materialistic teenagers is shown by how much they influence the economy and trends. The music industry and fashion industry are especially trying to please them, trying to get them to like their products and bring their friends to the mall to buy it with them. They obsess over whatever they think is trendy, over having the coolest music, clothes, phones, computers, etc., but this is normal for teenagers. Teenagers wanting to have the coolest music and clothes is nothing new.

This materialism is not selfishness, at least not always. It is the desire every teenager has to fit in. Even if a teenager doesn't necessarily want to fit in with the most popular kids they know, they want to have some sense that they fit in somewhere. To most teens having the coolest outfits...
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