The Death Of Simplicity: How Gratitude Is Becoming a Forgotten Practice


Sarah dos Santos, Staff Writer

In this day and age, the concept of satisfaction ceases to exist. The constant feeling of dopamine being replenished every time someone consumes anything is a euphoria that human beings seem to endlessly be chasing. Contentment is transforming into a far-fetched, abstract idea, disappearing as a human emotion. Every day we habitually scroll through pictures and videos of people placing their exorbitant amounts of cars, clothing, or even experiences on a pedestal; no wonder why we are so caught up in finding how to fix the feeling of desolation instead of practicing the act of gratitude. 

Day by day we move farther away from the beginning of mankind. From humans having to survive off of unpromised meals and fire for warmth to not being able to go a day without seeing a device, we have far surpassed the threshold of how simple life was, and could be— yet is that something that people want?

In a capitalist society, innovation is always being bred. Among these inventions, technological advances always prevail: and while these advancements can be highly beneficial, there are factors to be wary about as well. Several studies show that the majority of this materialistic ideology comes from the media that our technology provides. A study made by the American Psychological Association states that, “The research shows that the more that people watch television, the more materialistic their values are. That’s probably because both the shows and the ads send messages suggesting that happy, successful people are wealthy, have nice things, and are beautiful and popular. One has to remember that, in the U.S. at least, the vast majority of media are owned by a few for-profit corporations that make money by selling advertising, and the purpose of advertising is to sell products.”

Materialism plays a significant role in the death of simplicity, yet it is not the only issue. The absence of fulfillment contributes as well, meaning people’s ability to be pleased with their whereabouts and actions in the moment they are in. In the past 20 years, a term was coined to “diagnose” this fear that began to be instilled in people: FOMO. The fear of missing out has gradually been increasing with the use of technology and people knowing what everybody is up to at all times. Privacy has become a concept of the past, and knowing has become normal. Now, it has become a question of whether people will ever learn to ignore the inner dialogue inside their heads telling them they would rather be doing something else or not. The reality is, a mindset such as this one will only strain people’s ability to store memories that will mean the most at the end of their life, ultimately placing them in a position of regret. 

It is easy to become lost into the rabbit hole of overconsumption and media in a world that seems to go round because of it. Once you are able to implement the practice of gratitude into your life and realize the people, experiences and opportunities in your life are there to do more than just past time, your perception of living will change for the better.