Affluenza: On the Epidemic of Overconsumption

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As the holiday blitz starts coming to an end, my family and I watched an interesting PBS program called Affluenza (there is also a book of the same name). As stated on the site, it talks about the high social and environmental costs of materialism and overconsumption. Did you know that 2/3rds of all newspapers is just ads? Or than the average house in the 1950s was just 900 square feet? Even more surprising, 70% of people visit the mall every week. On average, Americans shop six hours a week and spend only 40 minutes playing with their children.

I don’t have kids yet, and I hate going to the mall with a passion, but I definitely feel overwhelmed by the amount of ads out there. I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that with my TiVo, I now watch virtually no TV ads. It’s kind of nice not knowing what is trendy or what’s on sale. I also use an internet pop-up blocker to nix as many ads as I can. As for materialism, I can’t say I don’t get distracted by plasma HDTV’s and the latest gadgetry. I love my laptop and home wireless network. But this show helps put things into perspective a bit. Is it a bit ironic that I checked it out for free at the local public library?

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Comments

  1. I bought and read the book, but have never seen the show. I hope the TV version was better-organized and more cohesive than the book. I do want to get my hands on the show sometime . . ..

    I’ll just say that the book had some interesting stuff, but was a nightmare as far as readability. One thing is certain:

    Our country has been sold the consumption lifestyle in a BIG way.

  2. David Braun says

    Affluenza changed my life in 1997.
    Today…out of debt, have taugh courses on Reducing, RusingRecycling, and how to get out of debt and stay out of debt.
    I have recently formed a non-profit organization, “Recycle for Life” whose goal is to educated public on importance of recycling.

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