a few things i’ve been pondering.
i’m sitting in my room, alone, listening to music and half watching GSN. and there’s just a lot of stuff that’s been going through my head lately and i feel like putting it on here will help calm my thoughts.
ughh this is going to be soo long.
first: American materialism
-i’m in this sociology class, which is really interesting and has definitely taught me a lot thus far. but it’s also forced me to question some of my views, and most importantly, my lifestyle. for example, I was walking to class earlier, thinking about the outfit I picked out and stuff. and i always do this, i start from the top and work my way down and point out the different name brands i’m wearing that day. today it was my skull candy headphones, with my striped Gap sweater, covered by my black northface, then my American Eagle jeans, and my sperry’s. i don’t know why i do this every day, but it makes me feel good about myself knowing that i can afford nice name brand things that other people can’t. and this is such a petty, stupid, unnecessary reason to feel happy about one’s self. our society has convinced us that if we don’t have the latest name brands, fashion trends, or technology, then we simply cannot be happy. and it’s so sad that i buy into this idea. there’s such a euphoric feeling that comes along with shopping, the ringing of the register, the price tags, the bright lights and subtle music. being treated like gold by the sales associates. it’s almost intoxicating really. but then the minute you leave the mall, the feeling is gone, and you’re disappointed in yourself for spending so much money on a whole bunch of shit you didn’t even need. we’ve become a society so centered on social status, that we literally plaster ourselves with name brands everyday and walk around like living advertisements with our noses in the air. we truly believe that the cardigan hanging in the store window will alter our lives for the better, or that our lives won’t be complete if we don’t buy the latest smartphone, because god forbid anyone have a phone that’s 6 months old.
and then when these things break, which they eventually do (and usually pretty quickly) we just go out and buy a replacement and throw the old whatever it is in the garbage. we are a society so hungry for consumption and constantly having more more more. but it’s how our economy works, if Americans didn’t indulge in unnecessary luxury goods, we would collapse.
i’ve become a huge fan of the term “first world problems” because it so appropriately fits pretty much every problem i encounter on a daily basis. we’re used to such a high standard of living, that the very second anything comes along and even SLIGHTLY disturbs it, the world feels as though it’s coming to an end. for example, i was pissed a few days ago because the towel warmer in my room didn’t work because our dorm turned it’s radiators off.
that is such a petty problem to be annoyed by. but i legitimately was slightly annoyed that i didn’t get to use a warm towel on my way to shower. meanwhile, across the sea, people are starving and dying of diseases that we can’t even imagine having to worry about here. people here die of obesity and being overweight, while in other places people are literally dying of starvation and go to bed every night hungry. and the fact that we all know it exists and completely disregard it says a lot about our country.
i’ll admit, i do it all the time. i take the viewpoint that it isn’t my fault i was born into a nation that prides itself on material goods and social status. i love living here, i love having nice things, having friends, going out to eat and shopping. but at the same time, i feel as though i’m always a little bored.
that’s the other thing. boredom. the reason we’re all so bored is because we do nothing productive what so ever. we have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Netflix, Reddit, the Huffington Post, Spotify, Pandora, thousands of channels on TV (literally) smartphones with apps and games and thousands of things to keep us entertained, Xbox, Playstation 3, and hundreds of countless other outlets of enterntainment. Yet we (or at least me) always complain about being bored. maybe it’s because these things are completely meaningless and would ideally have no relevance in our lives. but we lives such luxurious lives and never have to do any actual work, that we have to find all of these stupid things to entertain us. that’s the perfect word for it. “things.” Americans (including myself) love their things so much. we get annoyed if Netflix takes to long to load, or doesn’t play in HD because there isn’t enough signal. we become depressed when we buy a brand new phone and see an even better one come out a month later.
it’s silly that we value our happiness based on the amount and quality of our material goods.
we also literally poison our bodies on a daily basis. we turn to alcohol and drugs for entertainment, eat animals that were basically manufactured and killed in a big windowless factory. smoke cigarettes because we’re just SOO stressed all the time. go tanning so that we can be like the models on tv, bleach our hair, wear fake contacts, get tattoos and piercings, starve ourselves or engage in insane diet plans. take pills like there’s no tomorrow.
how could i just be mentioning this.
i’m the last person who should be talking about this, but whatever. we as Americans, rely on pills so much. one day, i counted the amount of over the counter and prescription drugs i took. it was insane.
i would wake up in the morning, take my Concerta (which i am prescribed my doctor), with a sudafed and claritin for my allergies. then halfway through the day i got a headache from the concerta so i took a couple aleve to make it go away, then i took unisom before i went to sleep because i’ve been having difficulties falling asleep at night.
i just went to the doctor because i had this weird stress rash that was really burny and itchy. so she prescribed me 3 different meds to take. which means that every morning for the past week i’ve been taking 6 pills, 2 for the stress to relieve itching, 1 that acts as a steroid, 2 that cure the indigestion caused by the steroid, my concerta, and my allergy pills.
that is completely ridiculous.
we run to pills so quickly to fix all of our problems. i’m seriously considering stopping all this. because even though the doctor says it’s okay, this cannot really be ok. can it? is it normal to have 4 prescriptions sitting on your dresser just to help you get through the day? especially when you consider that our lives aren’t even very difficult. but we create so many problems for ourselves and over exemplify everything and convince our minds that we need xanax, ambien, vicodin, and all those other fucking meds just because our lives are apparently SOO difficult. and the worst part is, our doctors, the people that are supposed to look after our health and well being, are so quick to prescribe these pills that it’s not even funny.
from the day we are born, we literally work ourselves to death. we are exactly like those fancy gadgets sitting on the store shelves, we’re designed to die and be replaced by someone else. and the world keeps spinning.
but we don’t even enjoy our lives anymore, we spend so much time getting caught up in all the little things, that we don’t even enjoy simply being alive. we don’t appreciate living in a country where you never have to worry about not having food, or not having at least the bare necessities required to live. we’re like sheep. and we’re kept sedated with pills, material goods, and social status’s. we’re convinced that these things are more important than politics, change, health care reform, equality for all, helping the poor, and other topics that we should actually care about.
we blatantly ignore the rest of the world that pretty much lives in poverty compared to us. we act as though this is normal, and pretend that everyone else lives exactly like we do.
we stage fake “wardrobe malfunctions” and awards shows and halftime performances that cost millions of dollars but only capture our interest for a fleeting moment. we consistently try to top the last event with something even more extravagant, and then complain when it wasn’t as awesome as we thought it would be. we stay entertained by the gossip of Hollywood and celebrities, when we should be paying attention to things that actually matter. there is a major problem in this country when more people care about what Perez Hilton has to say than Barack Obama.
we pour so much time and value into trying to impress our friends and stay on top of the latest trends but it is literally impossible to stay on top of the rat race. we use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, texting, phone calls, emails, etc… to communicate with people in our lives instead of just sitting down and having a face to face conversation with them. we get excited when a lot of people like our status, or write on our walls, or post pictures of us out having fun. being popular is more important here than being a good genuine friend. and everyone is in a constant state of competition to become more and more popular.
i could say so much more, but i feel kind of relaxed now that this is all out of my head.
i think i’m going to start reflecting on my life more critically.