Materialism overshadows morals

Students are materialistic and it’s negatively affecting them and others


Kacey Dunkel, Staff Writer

Many teens feel the desperation of wanting a new pair of shoes even if not needed or longing to buy a whole new closet of clothes to stay up-to-date in fashion just to appease our hunger for more, but there could be a negative effect that comes along with these feelings.

Students are becoming more materialistic and this brings negative effects in their own lives such as a lack of motivation, less engagement in academics and a sense of entitlement or selfishness, according to Dr. Ronnel King of The University of Hong Kong. Not only could this affect the students who exhibit this behavior, but peers may also feel the backlash of materialism through bullying.

About 14 percent more students in today’s society believe that money is of utmost importance compared to students in 1976-1978, according to psychology professor Jean M. Twenge. The same survey showed a 14 percent increase in students who don’t want to work as hard for the money they desire. 

With a slow and steady increase, students seem to be wanting more for putting in less effort. Students continually wanting to do little work in exchange for a large pay could translate into their school work, doing less work and expecting exceptional grades at the end of the year.

Many students endure the terror of being called out by those covered in name brands, even ridiculed for simply wearing clothes from flea markets or department stores that may cost less. Two-thirds of low-income families face embarrassment for not being able to afford luxuries and more than 25 percent of children in low-income families reported being bullied as a result of their poverty, according to the Children’s Society. Our world is dominated by money, creating social categories that are hard to fit into without the right amount of wealth and as a result, children have to suffer harassment for something they can’t control.

Children and teens may learn materialism from parents or role models, but regardless it needs to be put to an end for the well-being of themselves, peers and future generations who may also take after them. The vicious cycle becomes worse over the years and although completely abolishing greed and materialism among children may not be possible, we can raise later generations to be more humble, hard-working and grateful than those before them. Kids today are given phones as early as kindergarten and parents afraid to upset their child, therefore always giving them what they want. As a suggestion, parents becoming a bit more strict with giving children what they want outside of rewards for chores or being good could be beneficial.

Greed is prominent among students causing some feeling of entitlement and loss of work ethic, even becoming a problem for those less fortunate. Most have innocently felt desire for something material, but when this desire becomes a problem, reflect on it.