Do Objects Make Us? Many people in today’s society are distressed greatly with ones rank in the social hierarchy; material possessions of all sorts seem to construct, shape, and style the lives of consumers all over the world. Consumers all over the world are becoming more and more demanding as more and more is being advertised. Many companies, such as Apple, often advertise months in advance for products creating commotion, attentiveness, and desire among the world. Stores, such as Old Navy, inspire consumers to shop at stores like theirs to feel pleased and satisfied with how much can be bought with such small amounts of money; when in reality, the consumers are spending money on their identity. In “On sale at Old Navy: Cool clothes for identical zombies! ”, Damien Cave uncovers the fact that retailers all over the world, especially in such establishments as Old Navy and Ikea, have began to take up the lives of consumers in today’s society and have created a great deal of trickery for making consumers believe they need more than they actually do. Naomi Klein states that consumers are being scammed. Many consumers are being judged by what they buy and where they buy it. Many people, such as Thomas Frank feel that stores such as Old Navy create almost a “mass cloning masked in a carnival of diversity” (Cave). That analysis may seem true but consumers should take into account that they are letting objects define who they are leading to a materialistic lifestyle. Nowadays, people, especially teens, are very concerned with appearance, prestige, and social position. Malls all over the world are jam packed with a great quantity of stores with the same goal as stores like Old Navy and Ikea. Stores such as Old Navy and Gap often pressure and persuade teens to feel the need to purchase “the next big thing” in order for them to be viewed as “cool” by the rest of the society. Teens in today’s society will pay extra for clothes at one specific store to create a certain image for themselves. It is only human to want to feel accepted- and to even have the want to feel envied. Many people in today’s world would rather be dressed nicely, put together and have some debt than wear shaggy, aged, out f date fashion. I am not excluding myself from this category, however; America has been shaped and molded to be consumers. This generation of american culture is letting the objects they buy define who they are as a person and citizen. In “iPad Envy”, Rob Walker argues that people are often obsessed with the thought of being the first to have new state-of-the-art technology. Technology-seeking people like this are the first ones to pre-order advertised products even though they at risk of many complications and uncertainty of perfect product performance. These “technology-seeking” are letting objects such as technology to define them. They will pay more for similar technology to get the brand they want others to associate them with. Although Rob Walker states that these people should be thanked for their ignorance; consumers need to take a step back and look at the situation they are in. Consumers should ask themselves, “Do I really need this? ”. Walker also brings up the fact that they are often guinea pigs for buying this technology and that they are often getting ripped off. Rob Walker stated in his article that an estimate of 200,000 people pre-ordered the Apple iPad paying $500- $700. Many people believe that like the iPhone, once the glitches and flaws are fixed, the products price will decrease. This approach of marketing helps keep more and more people interested in the products. I once heard someone say, “You do not own an Apple iPad, it owns you”. This saying proves that people sometimes get so wrapped up in material possessions, they soon are too crazed that their life is slowly but surely evolving into a materialistic lifestyle. The point of these articles is for consumers to ask themselves: “Why do I need the most expensive and newest product? ” Eventually there will be a time when that product will be “out of style” and consumers will want the next best thing. These two articles are perfect examples of how the American society views “to need” versus “to want”. To earn respect one should be a hardworking and loyal individual. The materials you own mean nothing without respectable morals and ideals. Our generation is under the impression that they need to consume more and more expensive products in rder to define a lasting self-image. However, this mind set will eventually be the downfall to self realization. If one is unable to form opinions on their own, they will never become an individual and will ultimately fail to create a self-image. If our generation continues to let object define them, it we will remain ill-fated to live materialistic and acquisitive lifestyles. Works Cited Cave, Damien. “On sale at Old Navy: Cool clothes for identical zombies! ” Salon. com. Salon Media Group, 22 Nov. 2000. Web 7 June 2010. Walker, Rob. “iPad Envy” New York Times. New York Times, 5 April 2010. Web 30 June 2010.
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