Julia Schor, The Overspent American

“What about now, when the majority have (or can afford) the status symbols of the past? Have new prestige items emerged? Is there still a “right” way to consume in our more anonymous, urbanized, mass media-dominated culture?” Is a question Julia Schor addressed in her article.

Julia Schor noticed early on, in 1998, how media was influencing our culture. Now with the evolution of social media sites we have to be able to distinguish between the various social classes more precisely. We no longer can classify a group of people by the types of clothes they wear. Clothes that were once only worn by the upper class are now being worn by a wider range of people due to the easier access of the goods.

Social media sites can be traced as one of the main current reasons Americans overspend today. Being exposed to different products on a daily basis can persuade consumers to purchase when they have no real need to. An article written on the amount of money social media users spend compared to regular internet users shows a great variation in the amount of money spent. “Taking a snapshot view, members of social networking sites spend 1.5x more online than the average Internet user.” This could be due to, “According to the report, 23% of Twitter users follow businesses to find special deals, promotions, or sales. Of that, 14% of Twitter users reported taking to the stream to find and share product reviews and opinions.” according to brainsolis.com.

This problem that is occurring in our society can be solved only with valiant efforts. Without help the problem will only be prolonged.


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