Consumerism is the center of American culture. Americans tend to confuse their wants with their needs. With new advances in technology, as well as the help of advertisers, people are provided with easy access to new products that seem essential to their everyday life, even though they have survived this long without them. People cannot live without food, clothing, and shelter. But realistically, according to people's different lifestyles, more than food, clothing, and shelter are needed. Most people need to work to survive. Unless a job is either in their own home, or within walking distance, a means of transportation is needed. Whether it be a vehicle, money for a taxi-cab, or a token for a ride on the subway, money must be spent in order to reach the place of work. For a student, paper, pens, and possibly a computer are a necessity. In order to complete school assignments, these tools are sometimes even required. Schooling is required for many types of jobs, which provide money, which is without a doubt essential in life. Food, clothing, and shelter are not the only things needed to survive. The problem begins when people with a larger disposable income take it too far. A car is definitely needed, but the fastest car in the most attractive color is not. Needs begin getting confused with
wants, and money is spent on the most silly and necessary items. There is nothing wrong with spending extra money on items to make life more convenient, but with the help of clever advertisers, money is spent wastefully and carelessly. People who spend money extravagantly and unwisely lead to a culture that has become wasteful.
New products such as the iPod, a portable device
that holds hours and hours of music, are extremely
convenient. People are used to carrying around portable
cassette tape walkmans, or portable CD players, which hold
only one cassette tape, or one compact disc, providing only
one hour of music, maybe two at the most. As well as having access to up to five-thousand songs, the iPod is very easy to carry around, and it only weighs 5.6 ounces (apple.com/ipod). Choosing between a portable cassette tape walkman, portable discman, or an iPod would be a fairly easy choice for anyone who can afford to spend an extra three-hundred dollars. The iPod is an easy, convenient way to listen to music anywhere. While the iPod is defiantly not a necessity, it is useful. Unfortunately, the creators of the iPod did not stop there. It did not take long for them to come up with the iPod Mini and iPod Special Edition. The iPod Mini is a smaller version of the
iPod, with a few different features, but no major difference. The Special Edition iPod is black with a red wheel. It has few music features that are different from the original and mini, yet costs fifty dollars more than the original iPod. This is when spending money becomes ridiculous, for there is no important reason to buy the Special Edition iPod instead of the original.
As said before, vehicles are needed for a means of
transportation. Of course everyone wants a car that is
reliable and safe, but some people feel the need to have an
extremely fast car. While it is natural for people to want
their possessions to look appealing and nice, again, some
take it too far. Things such as iridescent paints for cars
are completely unnecessary. While a family of six probably
needs a mini-van or a sports utility vehicle to tend to all
the members of their family, a television is not needed.
Spending disposable income on something such as that is
being wasteful, and that money could serve a better purpose
for other people, especially with the amount of Americans
and people from other countries living below the poverty
level. It could be said that buying anything that is not
completely necessary is not right, because that money could
be used for a better purpose. However, Americans can choose to spend their...
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