Chasing Shadows: The Hollow Pursuit of Materialism and Superficiality


Have you noticed the escalating superficiality in our society, prompting me to wonder: have we lost touch with our genuine selves? The surge of social media platforms has made it exceedingly easy for us to obsess over our looks. People of all ages, from youth to middle age, are constantly reaching for their phones to check their appearance or to ensure a photo is perfect! We continuously seek validation through likes and followers, but at what cost? Are we jeopardizing genuine relationships and personal growth for the sake of superficial approval? Are we losing sleep in our bid to keep up with the Joneses? Is there a genuine need to own an expensive 80k electric car, and where does this path lead us? What if our planet decides that we have become parasitic to the flow of life? I admit I’ve fallen prey to these superficial needs myself! I need a way out. I know that my happiness lies not externally but deep within when I visit Alice Keck park for meditation or enjoy a two-hour walk while listening to Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, or simply some amazing music! Nowadays, I get lost so easily. Don’t you?

The Mirage of Retail Therapy in the Desert of Loneliness

Have you noticed that you and I are buying things that we never use or need, just an impulse, and clicking on that button, maybe a retail therapy! It seems like our shopping habits are compensating for loneliness at times or our emotional balance. Do you feel the same? Our consumer-driven culture constantly bombards us with the notion that material wealth and possessions are the ultimate indicators of success and the source of our happiness. Yet deep within, we know better. Does owning the latest iPhone, Pixel, or Samsung phone genuinely bring us joy? Are we blindly pursuing materialism at the expense of our well-being and the quality of our relationships? How can I measure my happiness?

The Celebrity Illusion and the Betrayal of True Happiness

Our fascination with celebrities and their lifestyles, or the Joneses who drive the newest cars in our neighborhood, has led us to focus on appearance, fame, and wealth as the keys to happiness. But are they truly the happiest people on Earth? Who do you think is happier, Taylor Swift or Matthieu Ricard, the monk who was labeled that happiest person on Time magazine? Superficial markers of success only bring us temporary joy. Are we idolizing the wrong role models, leading us to develop distorted values and unattainable expectations? Even if you make millions, can you truly be sure you will be happy? Would you bet your millions on it?

The Silent Crisis of America’s Surface-Level Existence

Modern life in America often leaves us breathless, with little time or energy for deeper, more meaningful relationships and personal development. I am gradually returning to some activities that genuinely bring me inner peace, such as gratitude walks. How do you combat these false promises? Are you going to wait until you are 65, retired, and lonely in a big house? We’ve become so engrossed in productivity and wealth that we’ve lost sight of what truly matters. Are we living life on the surface, rushing through our days without genuinely connecting with ourselves, others, and nature? Do we genuinely appreciate the present moment?

Redefining Success in the Age of Superficial Seduction

Who is your role model for success in life? Is it Brad Pitt, or a mother elephant caring for her calf? Is your role model the guy who drives a Ferrari, or the mother who has dedicated her entire life to raising her child and finds true bliss in doing so? Did the movie Avatar teach you anything, or did you just watch it for entertainment? Media and advertising constantly promote superficial values such as physical attractiveness and material wealth as the benchmarks for success. But are these truly the values we should aspire to? Are we being manipulated into believing that our worth is defined by these external factors, leading us to adopt skewed priorities and values? It’s high time we scrutinize and challenge these influences, and define our own measures of success and happiness.


In conclusion, the growing tendency towards superficiality and materialism is a complex issue rooted in societal norms, media influence, and personal choices. We’re living in an era where our worth is often evaluated based on outward appearance and material wealth, leading many to lose sight of their authentic selves in the process. However, it’s essential to remember that true happiness and fulfillment come from within, not from external validation or possessions.
It’s not about shunning material possessions entirely, but about finding balance and prioritizing our well-being, genuine relationships, and personal growth. It’s about challenging the societal norms that push us towards superficiality, questioning the role models we idolize, and redefining our measures of success and happiness.

Lastly, it’s about recognizing the power and influence of media and advertising, and not letting them manipulate our values. It’s crucial to make conscious choices about the messages we absorb and the values we uphold. Let’s start by looking inwards for happiness, practicing gratitude, and appreciating the present moment. Remember, you are more than your appearance, your possessions, and your social media following. Your value lies in your authenticity and the unique contribution you make to the world.